Mary Eliza Crane


Her white hair
a shock against deep green leaves
         head bowed, pen in hand
a model of contemplation
observation, small and bird-like
         seeking prey.

Her quickened eyes
scan the tame autumn garden-scape
         right, left, up, down       
hand skitters across paper
then she scrambles to another vantage
         out of sight.

Does she desire
to pluck the twin peach-colored apple globes
         twist, pull and snap
a gentle tug into dehiscence
that brings the season’s ripe fecundity
         to hand?

Does she resist
the pale green tinge on the shadow side
four days or seven days betrayed
a week before sugar sweetens up
         the juicy flesh?

When her legs
brush past lavender and scent wafts up
         is it enough?


In afternoon play of light and shadow
across the canyon, the pale green flush
of early grass, muted blue
of new grown sage, and yellow flash
of balsamroot are scrutinized
in the watchful gaze of bighorn sheep.
Sure footed, bounding through the scree,
quench their thirst at a mountain creek.

This scene should be eternal, but it's not,
though its history is written on the rocks
in ocher, black and gold, for anyone
who cares to learn the language.
There's truth if not beauty in the knowledge
that nothing turns out quite the way we thought.


Mary Eliza Crane