Room Six

by Sharon Black

Not for me the clean sweep of ocean,
the Atlantic’s glittering haul,
the sleeping bulk of Mull across the Sound:
give me this out-of-season garden
with its corrugated plastic greenhouse,
its broken trellis and the outline of a door frame
bleached into grass.

Last night I unpacked,
cranked up the radiator, jammed the wonky door
shut with a spoon. If only it were as easy
to fold away the lists, the end-of-term exams,
my husband’s flirty emails to his student,
the forms and overdue accounts.  

Since I woke, no one’s crossed the lawn
a crate of empties or kitchen peelings in their arms:
only this starling on a wire,
crisp against pale blue, which flies off
as I fix the curtains into place,
before I write him down, recording how his wings
bear off an oil-slick with such grace.