Here treasures rest as light
Melts the insular rain of Paris.
You care only for a dark oak frieze on the medieval wall.
There are bad people and things get done.
So far it has not been hard for you to accept:
Even at home, the trees can be ominous,
And what of the feral cry at the backyard gate?
I hold you up to better see soldiers wrench
The innocents away, swords lifted, while the selfish king
Cradles his head, sits still.
Light a candle for fifty francs; it will be your first intention.
Red augur in my trees, I’ve known you longer
Than your drabby brown and constant wife.
All fall, worn by waiting and the ill,
I stitched your likeness with two-stranded wool
While you offered her late seeds in your yearly nest,
Compact bowl of dichondra, ryegrass, down.
Now in the predawn you are telling
Of the ripened mulberries.
Still amazed you will respond,
I teach my daughter your call:
whoit whoit whoit
I would like her too to know of your
Fire-feathers, loam-ore, privet hedge kingdoms.
Anne Marie Michel has worked at MIT for 12 years and currently serves as Assistant Dean for Development in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. These poems are the first she has published.