Despite tacky music blaring
evenings and afternoons
from the massage parlor—
Palapa roofed in black plastic—
the same woman’s shawl comes higher,
entreats the land.
A long wave followed by another,
one sun glittering its googolplex of glints
in the cadenced waves.
Earth wooed by water—
a turquoise unlike any found beneath the crust
of dream where children, not yours,
come to leap with little legs
the fires sprouting around them.
This woman, whose mother is she,
intent on coaxing sand to shelf to ocean to bed?
Like the giraffe who never sleeps,
only, between long elegantly planted hooves,
pauses for an instant of somnolence.
Then carries on around the zoo yard
in this postage stamp pen
we’ve given over to the zoo
for this our tallest creature.
Judith Skillman is the recipient of awards from the Academy of American Poets and Artist Trust. Her new book is The Truth About Our American Births, Shanti Arts Press. Work has appeared in Poetry, The Iowa Review, The Southern Review, Zyzzyva, and other journals. Visit www.judithskillman.com