Painting the green today, the luxuriance of hemlock,
pine – oh, the dying pine below, from
that harsh lightning of August.
Painting, thickness of green against log,
Far from the sweet white cottages of
But close enough to live on a ridge near those who fly
(the kestrel, Cooper’s, mocker)
(the buck with fierce antlers)
and guard fiercely from fighter jets and turkey buzzards and butterflies
(Great White). The green is peace here.
But the green of the door remembers other lovers without peace,
juleps near the river, in the hiding mountains,
grandmother tying the braid of a redheaded scamp in the cool of the porch
as we run to the creek, coming to a dead stop.
Shimmered, then scorched and torn.
The green of waiting for war, for summer storms, for the loss
of the one who doesn’t return.
The summer storm took green doors, shattered green shutters,
flattened Point Cadet where they had run after other wars,
where some talked in brogue of the far seas
and others in lilt of Asia,
they left to the new sea before dawn and came home after dark,
little ones jumping into hot waters, squealing on Sundays.
Shotgun house one and another,
many newly painted in greens, pinks and blues – but mostly whitewash.
Shrimp steam wafting before lunch, pusharatas and spring rolls a step apart.
Old windows reflecting oleanders.
Old men mending nets.
The men, the windows, the oleanders, the squeals.
The green shutters.