Grace Marie Grafton is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Jester (2013), published by Hip Pocket Press. Ms. Grafton’s chapbook, Zero, (1999) won the Poetic Matrix Press contest. Her poetry has won honors from Bellingham Review, from San Francisco PEN Women’s Soul Making contests, from Sycamore Review and from Anderbo. Her poems have recently appeared in Fifth Wednesday, Cortland Review, Ambush Review, Askew, The Offending Adam, Sin Fronteras, Basalt, Mezzo Cammin, and others.
For over three decades, Ms. Grafton taught children to write poetry through the CA Poets in the Schools program, winning twelve Artist In Residence grants from the CA Arts Council for her teaching. She was awarded Teacher of the Year by the River Of Words Youth Poetry Contest, sponsored by Robert Hass, US Poet Laureate.
The rabbit runs a detour around the too-well-lit lawn
while the man in a warrior mask practices Tai-chi
in the midst of grass that just wants to rest.
Do a plant, a person and a rabbit communicate
with each other? Not to mention worms
busy at the roots and rain about to come,
the doves with their heads under their wings,
the chickens in the coop, the gray fox on the prowl
cautious as a girl who’s only now getting her breasts,
and the card players in the house across the street
who believe there can be only one winner.
The wisdom teacher says it’s best to believe
the world is basically good and humans
are part of the goodness. The rabbit
seems to think there’s something to run from,
the fox wishes the rabbit were stupider. Is one
more good than the other? The Tai-chi warrior
tries not to step too hard on the grass. The grass
loves the wind and the rain. The girl wants to
dig up the lawn and build a pond that migrating
trumpeter swans will land in. A small thrill
for the caged chickens who can’t fly but
who would love it if the girl gave them
all the worms she digs up.