On a Thursday, Like Any Other Day, I Try to Take Good Care of Things
Before I switch on the evening star,
I azure the top of the sky.
Like the yellow street light outside my house,
the star floats in dark blue.
Before I azure the top of the sky,
I tint the horizon deep orange.
High clouds smooth to a darker blue
and the lawns in the town drink cool.
Before I stain the horizon orange,
I darken the snowy mountain.
The glow in the west heads for the ocean
where foam glints crimson.
Before I gray the white mountain,
I roll the hills into their beds.
The glaciers slow in their icy hollows
and dream how to flow like rivers.
Before I put the hills to bed,
I tuck in the ripening wheat.
Each kernel sleeps in its head
while the stalks wave in the fields.
Before I kiss the wheat goodnight,
my hands grow paddles for winnowing.
All afternoon I have tasted sunlight.
Tonight in my sleep I will taste bread.
Penelope Scambly Schott has published several books, most recently Crow Mercies from Calyx Books (2010). This poem is from a series she’s working on called “Lovesong for Dufur,” about a small town in central Oregon.