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Panther bourne

on the tendons of summer, the twitch of air,
the eyes, liquid, bare, and the glare of wheat

not yet cut. Six panthers lounge in the sun,
and who knows how many else hidden.

The panthers can’t hold up the sky,
having come from underground like sun

explodes in summer with the hum
of susans and their black (brown) eyes,

like daisies, like marigolds. What can
make shade bright? Pale as a ghost,

I play in the wake of ovate leaves,
a few trees grown up on an old home place

for which no one knows the name,
island in the shoulder’s pace of wheat.

One of the panthers sleeps on his back.
I burn even in the shade.


Angie Macri’s recent work appears in 32 Poems and Alaska Quarterly Review. An Arkansas Arts Council fellow, she lives in Hot Springs and teaches in Little Rock. “Panther bourne” takes its title from a Carroll Cloar painting, and echoes of the painting appear in the poem.