(Draft) The King’s Image

This morning made something like a house of cards
out of the garden. Snowberries and dew
hung from twigs among the half-tamed shrubs
quivering as if they might be scattered by a breath,
clear and delicate as the king’s image,
with the slightest suggestion of tears,
so ripe, I thought, that if they dropped,
all the king’s horses and all the king’s men
couldn’t put him together again.

But the instant the thought condensed
two hummingbirds burst from the blue,
one and on its tail another
zipped down in hot pursuit.
Breathing hard, the taunting purple-throated balladeer
rattled off a ballad. I pegged him for a Cavalier.
The other, a Roundhead, of course,
flew into a rage, and resumed the furious fray.

The king’s image I saw in dew was gone, I think
though the snowberries remained – and the birds –
no, I must have Charles on the brain.

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