Feb. 16, 1993 


The heat is just beginning and I am wading through
waves of waist-high grass; gem-green
grasshoppers and dun-colored
crickets leap before me, a thin parade. I disturb
a family of quail, their heads bobbing madly as they run
from me and disappear like phantoms into
the thick grass. At first, I think that I am just searching,
like I did in childhood summers,
for pheasants, golden-eared pheasants,
with burnished coats of rajah's jewels
and sweeping tails to hide their ugly feet, but
I am really crossing to be with you, standing
on the other side of the struggling field,
your hair bright with summer, your eyes
like aquamarines, or maybe blue topaz,
a shining, unidentifiable stone. You are
waiting for me to reach you in your sleep-
worn jeans while the crickets
congregate around your bare, brown feet.

© Jessica Minier Mabe