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This poem is taken from PN Review 150, Volume 29 Number 4, March - April 2003.

The Creek Robert Gray

A slow effervescence of wind-lifted rain
on knuckle and cheekbone
sweet
occasional prickling
that is met as I walk about the creek, having come down a lane
and out to the back
of the long yards at the edge of town
fragile assault
in the steamy afternoon.

The red earth's compacted in the high creek bank
baked tight
and a rope swing is looped
below among the slant trees, that rise from there
through the element
of ointment.
These tapering swamp oaks are each drawn overhead
like a splinter that's festered.
...


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