Robbie Nester – Two Poems
Fog and Moonlight: Margaret in her Nightgown, Alone in Bella’s Yard
After a painting by Robert Rhodes
Mist rose from the grass into a sky
just beginning to grow light.
You threw off the rumpled sheets,
glided down the stairs and out the door,
leaving it open behind you, seeing
the yard transformed, the pedestrian
birdbath, close-cropped grass
masked by fog. Posing like a dancer,
you turned your face up to the moon,
as though it were a mirror
and you an ingenue, as though you knew
that I was watching from behind the open door.
And then, wishes spent, you stretched
under the oak, white shreds of fog
caught in your hair, and slept.
Two white pashmina goats above a lush
brocade of meadow grass and woodland
regard this richness from a scaffolding
of narrow planks, a barn without a roof or walls
where none but goats could hope to tread.
Why aren’t they grazing in the tender
hollows between trees, the deodar
and poplar, grass so sweet and green
that even I, no ruminant,
would like to rest there in the heat?
Prized for their precious fleece, the goats
are far too valuable to roam these hills,
where tigers might be skulking
in the shadows, or more likely,
thieves. Determined farmers
brave these heights to feed
and water flocks whose horns
offer a slim defense against a world
that wants to strip them bare
or worse, to turn them on a spit
to feed another sort of appetite.
The goats look strangely satisfied,
at home so far above the ground,
their small hooves sure, even in the rain,
among the silent clouds, feeding on air.
Robbi Nester is the author of an ekphrastic chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012), a collection of poems, A Likely Story (Moon Tide, 2014), and editor of two anthologies, The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! (Nine Toes, 2014) and Over the Moon: Birds, Beasts, and Trees–celebrating the photography of Beth Moon, which will be forthcoming on the Poemeleon Poetry Journal website by this fall. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in many journals, anthologies, and other publications.