The sandpiper stares at the pickled sky,
whetted for tornadoes. Wind planes
off the plants, atrophied in their pots,
abreast to the thunderhead. I water,
and the leaves play harbinger rain
on my legs. Light washes the sandpiper,
knees high, white ruff to the wind.
A flicker on takeoff, then the screen
door springs open and I am in.
I finger the stems, the veins that pulse
blank chimes as a stream winds
from my watering can through the dirt.
Morning-gold leaves now skirt
the balcony, accordion from planters
to rail, like water striders.
And the limbs try on new souls,
scheme my hands to the soil that turns
my blood. I pick apart the stuck
buds, the spider’s lace of roots
tubed from the black, the original
feed. I bleed, strum the seed,
my fingers spool as if returning
from sleep. A white feather,
the fuzz of fronds, a green bulb, then
a small fruit—red as my thumb.
Sandra Marchetti is the author of Confluence, a full-length collection of poetry from Sundress Publications (2015). She is also the author of four chapbooks of poetry and lyric essays, including Sight Lines (Speaking of Marvels Press, 2016), Heart Radicals (ELJ Publications, 2016), A Detail in the Landscape (Eating Dog Press, 2014), and The Canopy (MWC Press, 2012). Sandra’s poetry appears widely in Subtropics, Ecotone, Green Mountains Review, Word Riot, Blackbird, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. Her essays can be found at The Rumpus, Words Without Borders, Mid-American Review, Whiskey Island, and other venues. Currently, she is a Lecturer of Interdisciplinary Studies at Aurora University outside of her hometown of Chicago.