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FOUR WAY BOOKS: Molly McQuade, Barbarism
Four Way Books
Molly McQuade

ISBN: 1-884800-27-0, paper
71 pages, $13.95

Be planted. Don't do anything to stop it.
Let the woozy wrap around your nonnegotiable hardness
slump and stretch a little. It'll take a few days.
Then your brown snood drops off
and riplets of dry tide, the squirms,
mutters, hiccups, carve
the fey down delightful:
they are sunk, and dark.
Sand can be a lax receiver, but if you're lucky,
a hardy mound will hold you,
unwitted, yet to be trusted,
those mineral courses
impossible to feel or see, but good to think of.
Strum them if you like.
Conduct a chorus of complaint
and groan,
reach, settle, and strive.
Tell the small voices, so abstemious but muscular,
that you will wait until the grand warm-up passes
into lyric, deep song
of always yet to come.
And be playful. They will not want
your wandering baton
or might or measly syllable
if you cannot sound it lightly.
Know that even (or especially)
your foremost wand
as it edges, ogles, and listens, testing ground,
letting loose, getting done,
is a spark's fragment,
a severe fraction
of the strength of tree or flower.