5th Grade Graduation

After the memorized
speeches and signed
certificates, but before
the cake, a rocket
is launched on the black
top. Photographs

from that day
will show all of the faces

looking up, eyes shielded
from the cloud swathed
sun in a sea of repurposed
holiday dresses
and birthday button
downs. They seek

that yellow arrow
which left their world

with a whistle and a crack
and pierced the sky
at the beginning
of a long and lazy
summer, but instead
what they see

is one hundred
unexpected blackbirds

in a fast and fleeting flock,
all moving toward
that inexplicable
blue horizon
at a truly
astonishing clip.

Trail of Yes

We are blue trail
treading on berries
of juniper, fractured

branch, bleeding sap,
anointed air. We are red
bud cactus flower explosion

between stinging needles,
and golden lichen on
the gnarled stump. We are rattle

of raven behind white clouds
and whiter still, we are sun-bleached
deer bone signature

of the lion’s night prowl
that makes hairs stand
on their ends. We are footprint

echoes on wet, black earth,
wind from beneath the precipice
and a changing sky before

the rain. And we are
porch swing, screen door open
chord guitar music,

first star strumming
half moon rise, and we are yes,
and yes, we sing,

for the many bright and broken
colors, yes, we sing,
there is living to be done.