Barbara Daniels

Anything can poison—
veined ivy, red now 
in pestilential autumn, 

ordinary purple berries 
tangled in vines 
near the pond, flowers 

tipped with brown. 
A barn owl rises silently 
from the graveyard, 

death stalking Arcadia 
like a thief in church. 
I want to step into 

the grass, slender, 
waxen, lit and burning. 
But I’ve been altered 

by my long journeys. 
A froth of foam dirties 
the pond water. I know 

where the boys swim 
naked. Like brothers.  
Like each other’s sons.  

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