Theory of Place

by Susan Dickman

for Persis

Sundial, nest of thorns, center of
the swollen sky in May. I would have thought

the birds would issue silence from the canopied branches
spread over the grass and bloom-filled patch

of sunlight she could once call home. In sun
she would remember starlight, fall closer to the world

of splitting twigs and insect quiver filling the laden air.
And if the pink and yellow scented spring

moved her, she could draw the shadows
of what was lost before her: song and silence,

traffic on the winding road outside the garden walls,
open spaces in the trunks of trees where birds

had left their markings. But there was more,
and would always be: flowers pulling up

among the greenery, earthbound crawlers
writing their names in the soil, ancient ferns

unfurling across the great expanse
of air, and then,
then heaven.

*Photo courtesy Danielle Leitch.