Poetry Porch: Poetry


Self Portrait with Mule
By Teresa Iverson

My neighbor is rebuilding his front steps,
replacing each worn boardrecord
of departures,
                         footsteps and dust.
How the fresh planks shine, color of wet sand.

The hammer strokes arrive along grooves
deepened by hearing: and hearing, delighted,
                         meets them crisp rebound. A child
leaning against a fence, I once watched

a man and mule score a field
reins slapped across the bony cradle of its
                         rump, the mule dragged a plow,
handles and blade lifting at each row’s end

turned in the man’s hands like a divining rod.
Nowdays when I look in the mirror my body
assumes clean hues of clay
                                         tawny, sable,
rustsilt that a river has washed.

Copyright © 2007 by Teresa Iverson.