• Michael Sciarretta


What We Let Happen


We let the grass grow tall through the wire of the fence

until the leaning posts of cedar seem forgotten.

We let the breeze into the leaves of the forked white birch

then listen. They once reminded Bill of aspen leaves

on their branches by the second floor sleeping porch

at the lake house long ago, coaxing the children to sleep.

We let our own family dead hold to the maple’s trunk

in the shadow at the base of the branches where we

tap it for syrup every spring, filling the sticky buckets.

We let patches scuff beneath each of the seats of the

swing set, where each of the young girls stop themselves

then climb into the maple tree to sing their parts from

this year’s play. Within their joy they are like leaves.




Catching Rain


The lake begins at the foot of a long grass bank. At its edge

a wooden table, and placed upon the table’s edge a cup.


No one quite understands what will come after

the rainstorm, as the clouds pass. Perhaps satisfaction.


Remember the hills of olive trees we could watch from our

rooms in Spain. They would bring us only satisfaction.


Loosened from a hidden place—beneath a stone, in clumped soil

knocked from a spade—the very first seed is satisfaction.


As is usual with children, wanting just a drop of pure rain,

as the storm began the boy put out his cup.