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Tuesday, July 04, 2017


by Tricia Knoll

Image source: White Mountain Puzzles

After Henry Reed

Spring eased the almond blossoms open
and promises of cherries while we named parts
left over from winter. Collusion. Taking
away, reducing, throwing in the trash
legal widgets that keep the water pure,
air open to the cherry’s pollen flight.

We named parts with words round
to our tongues, like emoluments, to see
how that piece fit in the grooves
of palaces and greens like golf courses.
Lies are new lower swing swivels
alternatives, the stock aiming.
We call the liar  a number, not a name.

We watched tired armies of people
whose papers dictate that they bolt
backwards, locked. Riled bees assault
the fumbling flowers and some too
called that easing the spring.

Assembled from parts, the barrel
is loaded and pointed at every one
of us. The sick. Disabled. Those
who stumbled. Women mourning
in too many dry cities to count.
Children born to know only this.

Whatever bitter cold silence ensues,
whatever violence, these parts came
forged as cocking-pieces, and the many
words to name them buzzed over us
diseasing the spring.

Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet who in the last week has read Henry Reed's famous 1942 poem "The Naming of Parts" about fifteen times, sharing the dismay of progressives at how rapidly important protections of people and the environment can be dismantled. Her new book, Broadfork Farm, is a series of love poems to a small organic farm in Trout Lake, Washington.