Air Like A Sea

I noticed the willow's long fronds
      hung down crimped
              like ringlets
      just unwrapped––
                      and some birdsong,

notably the robin's, at midday
      came out ragged,
              a bit rusty
      and not so liquid––
                      new leaves bore a fuzz

like the newborn's fontanel,
      without the throb
              though everything
      on the wing seemed to be alighting,
                      building, catching up

a catkin in its beak or scouting
      for worms or grubs.
              I wanted to place a finger
      on the day's pulse,
                      making it pause––

my fingernails like shells,
      the day's air a sea rolling in,
filling space around me,
      raising the beached kelp
                              to sway alive, like hair.

PATRICIA CLARK's previous work has appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Stand, Poetry, and many other journals. Her most recent book is She Walks into the Sea (2009).