The Traveling Library: Elena Fultz

Elena and I spent a year together in college singing in choir and traveling in Europe.  She's delightful, intelligent, creative, and patient (and an English major who will probably cringe at my grammar).  I want to share with you one of her poems:

A City Park Employee With
Very Clean, Unpatched Knees

was interrogating a patch of delphiniums.
In the willow tending park, a crow laughed.
The delphiniums were not amused.
It was either prophesy or weep with the tree.

My stars! boy, I said, stop that
or you'll hurt - he peered up vaguely.
Here now, I said, I'll show you.
This is a flower, I said, and this is a weed;
the only difference between
is nobody wants the weed.

This is the pulse of the black,
                    black earth - feel it
and know
it holds the bones of kings
and katydids.

These are the stringy tangles, I said
that slip from the soil just to
deceive one day
they shall slide
            their fingers
into the earth's core
to anchor a lightning
rocked oak ninety feet high,
so the penny-sparrows can rest.

These are the eager leaves
that lick up pools of sunlight; when
they die, they return to the dust from whence.
The delphiniums will forgive
you if you take those gloves off, now.

A glove reached
yanked a cord from one ear;
asked, excuse me, Ma'am, if he could
help me.

- Elena Fultz