At the edge of the close-cropped lawn
laps the drought, thirsty tongue all out.
Every change of name pocks its mark.
A scratch of smallpox on a survivor.
The squatters clear a small place.
A tongue licks dry lips.
A hand swats a fly, its buzz an airplane overhead.
All lawns a transplant, every ant a scavenger.
Under sod, a small tear, a drop of blood.
A bead of sweat collected in a dry swell
of pale earth. What birds wheel on Mulberry Hill?
On the face, carved eyes look down.
Make space. This land is too wide.
Plant feet on it to make it mine.
The Pastoralist Speaks (목가주의자가 말한다)
22 May 2011