& Bless – poem by Mara Adamitz Scrupe

Mara Adamitz Scrupe

& Bless

            all the illness    people all the streaming
pilgrims’ barren scatter stripling bark             & tender
bless the bandit’s head rolling/ stalling/ staring
moth to moon             dusk to cavern            ebon nail gnawed
&           stub
               &         yes god bless          god bless this packed
plaza today’s & yesterday’s suns’ deep reserve glint &
fracture a fallen woman’s foreign veil & stoned          her kin
deny her/ prostrate for life for living being & bless
the skittered     lifeblood          under the floorboards

between plates & piers             gallanting out bold
before dawn      supine back-wriggle striped
coming                          & going & bless the rift-open aura
illumined           astral pink morning watercolor wash
along the ridge I stammer as a         child my attachments
to objects misunderstood     as linkage as hairy-stalked
kudzu climbs the boxwoods’ backs; lovers     or foes?
           & bless the bumbling bamboo           too ruinous      &
every spring’s speckless ripped blade & bucket & bless &
bless bless the kleptomaniacal          ruling class’s

Panglossian sputter     pompous lapse and unbelieving
slumber            I bless this copse this gussied-up graveside
chat     antipodal woolly muddied smear what drear
measure         what a month            to die & bless
our slave chapel moved over harrowed field &
passion smoothed over hanks            & marrow
             hees & yaws     & wept white amplitude scale & hands
that blind and feed                  some bone some splint some salt
glazed sherd      a shine plucked clean from rubble
silica & sodium vapor dure: the potter’s thumb prints

fired forever in wet smoke & rouged iron
oxide              & bless the hangers-on released
to creep & tarry matched sets paired birds all set
for the Sunday shoot      & bless the frog-of-the-field
            stacked bump-backed & clutching
one atop           another in a bucket on the feeding floor
            & bless this breeding wire this hedged             tendril &
foothold           tension rib & shore & bless the suffocate ivy
clutch & ramble cling-stem stout roof            pitch & mortared
stroke & bless & bless all these crumbling                  castes

“& Bless” by Mara Adamitz Scrupe won third prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (May 2016) judged by Mandy Pannett.

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