What the Rake Turns Up

by Lisa Higgs


Weather flipflops, making wildlife restless,
children restless, dogs and dads, dreams and days,
whole winded nights restless. Then time changes, too.
The backward hour breaks something loose, like crows
(so Poe) massing out back, yard fluid black,
until a door’s crack sends shadows to air,
and noise flies limb to limb. The great tree’s gold
mottles, manic with omen calls forecasting.
Here howls change as dogs, quick to nose glass, whine
at doors. Here the raw gale, a magician’s trick
wall spinning. Night rain, a blizzard. Leaves’ luck,
a clinging desolation. Here autumn gives
broadly, takes plenty. What the rake turns up:
damp clumps, two girls, a much-wanted feather.




By default now, this reach for you under
covers chilled by cool spring air awash through
slightly cracked windows—late May all leaf wave,
wing stretch, pollen puff off blown blooms. Unfurled
allergies and light rush. A clock taunt, this slight
trill fooling about feeders, between curtains,
and still more light bustle flitting quiet
in whispered hours of sleeping dogs, daughters
a door away. Your hand warms mine, mittens
us in wakeful languor unwilling to break
open anything wider than day, though heat
sidles up our spines, fall’s blushing pears
summered well to juicy peak. Us, ringing
silent alarms with one well-placed toe trace.

Lisa Higgs’ third chapbook, Earthen Bound, was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in February 2019. Her poetry has been published widely, and her poem “Wild Honey Has the Scent of Freedom” was awarded 2nd Prize in the 2017 Basil Bunting International Poetry Prize. Her reviews and interviews can be found at Poetry Foundation, Kenyon Review Online, and Adroit Journal.