by Brian Blanchfield

What Heidi’s grandfather learned from the eagle he taught himself

Aggregate is a pavement rough on the feet. We spread it around
the allotment gardens, where monuments are most prone.
At level grade, we introduce the churn, a procedural masonry
flocked with beak and shell and pattern after, a deuteronomy
all over the ground, much like that the maestri spotted
on the monticule and derived, halfway down again,
of starshower.
Trueness to type is the objective in aggregate,
and chalking it up, roughly, the signature business
of our internal audit, summarized over the translator before
the hearings of grievance. In truth the gardeners
are lucky to have us, and if their gratitude is tactical
it is no less affecting to have pressed into our aprons
the gentians indigenous to First Elevation.

A blossom sometimes, in their parlance, volunteers
out of season, and it is not without precedent we
element the youth we find one morning at the pour
and pattern after. It seems an act of love paradoxically,
the expulsion they call going to seed —his kiss curl twisted
up and out in a manner we now recognize as preparatory,
fontwater wet. While we work his boredom brings to him
one of our handtrucks and a duet all day to choreograph,
rock- tip- twisting into dervish a leverage of himself until
the beck he was assigned to search our faces for
escapes him and we break silence. He yanks his balance,
wheels out, skids again. When we escort the probate
to the audition granted him and his hum among us
in the melody of the closing prayer the novitiates lead
after grievances is resonant in our walk back, we notice
like nuns the march of our feet in its beat and stagger,

whereupon in testiness we huff and ditch the stiffened
batch, then mellow. We clap out dust from the proving trays.

Last updated December 10, 2022