A response to the photographs of Laurie Tümer

The child, relaxed, languishes in the star
of her mother’s arms. Take one step. Everyone shifts into stars.

Oh Holy Mother, your sideways glance
as if you can’t bear the child who is the moment’s star.

Mother of Progress, Father of Casualties, turning your arms
into altars of commerce, your face its falling star.

The prophets spoke. Nobody listened in the Fifties, Rachel.
The air downwind. My garden. My babies. Three wishing stars.

Once your family dumped milk in the Fifties.
The cow’s four stomachs chewing stars.

Stamp an expiration date on my hand.
Make it be August please, under catastrophic stars.

Farm worker, back float in gas mask and goggles.
What wonder among the sacrificed stars?

Masked but not carnival, small ghosts of fear.
Hands offering and receiving disorganized stars.

Orion, Big Dipper, Pleiades, constellations I know.
This dye traces new frightened stars.

In poisonous moments of the mind, the heart escalates.
My grandson begs for blue Legos of The Death Star.

Joanie says, Laurie, thanks and no thanks. I barely bear this
minor key. Sing Earth, Holy Earth, more fragrant than stars.

*    *    *    *

Joan Logghe has served as poet laureate for Santa Fe, NM 2010-2012. Her most recent books are Rice (Tres Chicas Books), Love & Death: Greatest Hits, with Renée Gregorio and Miriam Sagan, wonnder of a New Mexico, and The Singing Bowl, finalist in New Mexico Book award, Bennington University Milt Kessler Poetry Award, and WILLA Award. She has lived in La Puebla, New Mexico since the early 1970's. 

As a high school student she was interested in biology and very aware of the burden on pesticides. As a grandmother, organic gardener for decades, she is even more concerned.


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