Greenness with Picnic Bench

Elaborate gnat & dapple, O Tilden
you honky-tonk set-aside we come
on four wheels & two. Muddy switchback,
casual horse-road, you merry go round
concession, fenceful of show-farm
goats. Gortexed we come to you,
all day our days have waited
like our dogs. Our days behind walls.

Go to the back of the line mountain lion,
recede with coyote & nut gatherer,
we’ve stood a grill on steel pole,
we’ve riveted weather for squirrel,
opened door for poison oak. We’ve left
on streambanks our single use
beverage cups. Piñatas have been burst,
reprieve given to our pent-up dogs.

Tilden you tale of a land sandwich,
acres we say escape. O sew
the thread lightly, great bobbin & needle
of development, attach this last parcel
of oak-bay & toyon, even if corrupted
with long sloppy trees that came on boats:
we have dogs, we have pockets awash
with code. We are extending summer
like a bridge span, our commute
ravenous, our nights bedazzled,
please don’t leave us.
Keep patching together ants
& undergrowth. Wild raspberry,
a few poppies soldiering. Memory-stapled
trails. Don’t leave yet:
your hair full of wind.

Dan Alter's poems have been published in journals including Field, Fourteen Hills, Pank, and Zyzzyva; his first collection My Little Book of Exiles is forthcoming from Eyewear Press. He lives with his wife and daughter in Berkeley and makes his living as an electrician. https://danalter.net/

See more of his work in 6.1