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Los Angeles Poetry

Brent Dickerson

Beyond my fence
A field blooms with wild herbs.
The buds burst gold;
The bees tell where the flowers nod
All fresh,
All fragrant,
As the grasses sway.

And I?
The fence is mine.
I built it, slat by slat,
My self,
Pure, cold, white, tall, straight.
And on this side
This side, my side
The shrubs are clipped
And sit in rows,
Perfect rows,
Spacing wide;
Only green in perfect rows,
No blossom in my perfect rows.

I see my friend
Beyond my fence
Among sunflowers bursting gold.
He winks at me
And walks up close
And says a word
Or two or three;
And often, from respective sides,
We'll lean upon my picket fence,
And joke and pass the time of day.

But in the later afternoon,
My friend is gone.
The slats cast shadows on my face
And then I sit
To think and write to you about
The things that once I saw
The golden bursting buds I saw
But never had;
The grasses swaying in the breeze;
The dandelion puffs afloat;
My friend winking in the sun
I see but only see and write from shade
Behind my pure and cold white fence
Among my clipped and well-spaced shrubs
And watch the sun turn amber, red,
As shadows lengthen on my face.

To darken with the dying light,
To sing your morning in my night
     This, then, my destiny.