“Bury your talent (Song of Solomon Redux)” was previously published in The Timberline Review Winter/Spring 2016.
Bury your talent (Song of Solomon Redux)
“There is an old kitchen way to say what we did: you bury your talent in a napkin” – Hettie Jones, How I Became Hettie Jones
I Solomon skips over mountains. Leaps down hills. He praises pomegranate. Pear. Sings love into being. I am a failed troubadour. My feckless songs clot the earth. Yield no fruit. Only stunted juniper. Solomon, soujourner, Is tall and lean like sugarcane. He stretches. He reaches the light he needs. I would trade wildness -- Cedar, fir -- To be nearer his guitar strings. He strokes them tenderly. He plucks them joyfully. They sing. (Deer listen.) (Thickets clear.) (Orchards brim.) Love leaps into being. II Spliff-waving men talk jazz in my kitchen. Outside, parents call children home for dinner. Lilacs perfume sky blue as the bowl I reach for. Solomon takes it all in. Spoons out a compliment Broad as the worlds between us: "That's some kinda gumbo". III Our kitchen holds more music than food. Rationed orange juice; Chicken backs; Fish heads for the cats. His fingers tap out sounds. Drown the everyday. Someone, please. Take out the trash. And mind the children. Give me this: One afternoon and room. Enough to birth a bellyful of poems-- And let loose Love enough. Love enough.
Shelley Marie Motz