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Happiness

What kind of bird is that yapping now,
I ask through the window,
all city innocence,
and you tell me:
a frog.

*

As for these birds tugging rubber
worms from the lawn,
or that tree, that immense rooted
broccoli—
let’s put the trees back
in marriage.

*

The day you seduced
a field of cows in your best
bull’s voice.
One by one they ambled up,
swaying their comfortable udders.

*

If this is the world,
we are the only ones in it,
naming the animals, finding
a language. Not words, but
parsley or chives under the tree,
at our fingertips,
green.

*

Silence
thatches the roofs,
drifts from the chimneys.
The rain feeds it, soaking the muck.
Then the sun comes out,
the ripe apricot of the sun
like a child’s crayoned God.

*

I am hanging wash on the line.
Our sleeves
wrap me in love.
Like Adam in his first
happiness,
you come out
and pee in the garden.

 

Chana Bloch (b. 1940) is a poet, translator, and scholar. She is professor emerita of English at Mills College.

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