One Day in Utah

Only muttered words,
like stones in windows:
syllables taking place.

Trashed inheritances —
belonging for love’s arts:
bulletin-pointed Plains.

Simple, wildest flowers —
Deseret-inspired women,
children still believing.

Relief Society evenings —
lovely heritage: public lives
advocate women’s rights.

Live in hope and recovery —
how much to till this earth?
Still time for reconsidering.

Come see the special places
in heaven and have courage:
life’s a river lost — farewell!

Across the plains and tears,
time remains like unfinished
cradles of settlers’ families.

Ancient earthly academics
inhabit places of knowing —
all critters can join the choir.

Tossing off doubtful detritus,
sisters watch for sunken lies:
untold tales, wheels of time.

Unsolicited apologies grow
vines over crumbling walls,
chrysanthemums in corners.

April flowers on longer trails
latter-day seasonal affinities
paint mountain desert views.

From ye olden, golden times:
play merrie games and rhyme,
illustrate the fast-fading days.

Cookbooks or literary sketches:
September sessions begin again,
another bleak autumn returns.

Empty spaces settle in the sage,
never get past the wooden gates,
beset by unaccountable bones.

Under sound, undeterred logos
looks for blue roses, trees of fire–
resurgence familiar as sparrows.

One field fills with dry tobacco —
others blossom angel-thoughts,
day-lilies — fairy garden guides.

Musing upon Utah memories —
multiple wives and women work
desert charities, philanthropies.

Orchards freeze in hurricanes:
bread-milk supper, famine years,
homes built outside the shade.

House-warmings for descendants,
spring and winter homespun songs:
rainbow moths on long steel roads.

Hollyhock dolls, memories return:
pioneer women finish open-kettled
canning just before their days’ end.

Unwritten words cover iconographs:
mix meaning enough to solve shapes,
spirits encased in spiny cactus cages.

Strife’s interludes tarnish every halo
as home-fire talks and mothers’ songs
reshape each Mormon family’s story.

Even nature’s sacred utterances contrive:
conceal secret pathways beside dirt roads,
hide detours inside moonlit sensations.

Yes, tell them: youth was a bright shield
against frost, weeds, and stark loneliness.
Yet also ask them: must we all give over?

. . . . .

Found poetry by Susan Powers Bourne
from State.by.State: Women.Poets.Utah

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