A woman is spinning, spinning
endless loops of blonde wool
drawn off the limpid ponds,
corn silk blown over tidal pools.
Every naked device of sustenance
plants a prison seed of wealth,
which has undone us all.
(Do not look for the grand house,
that would bear down on you
from the curve-limbed Ashley:
even bricks can burn, acrid smoke
mingling with sodden heat.)
She bends, silent, combing
thorns, burrs from off-white,
ignoring the ghosts
who gather by her spun hair
Behind you looms live oak,
telling, too late, of Indian trails
inland. Translated bamboo edges
cypress trees that brood over knees,
hold them in water, suspended.
Her lips purse, but shape
no hymn to mark fallen
dark figures, headstones
leaned against the barn.
Engravings ease their variations.