Art Fair: Passacaglia on Garden Ornaments 

by Kit Nicholls, Troy

The big thing now's these Things on Sticks.
Near every person who walks by's got something
on a stick. Metal butterflies, birds, large hoops
and curly bits. Some of the women carry their youth
on a stick. I saw a mangy squirrel shoot past me
with a bushy tail on a stick.

A pouty-looking child came round with a stick
on a stick. Teenagers shouting their whereabouts
to cell phones perched high above them. A wise,
white-robed man padded barefoot with a stick.

Blood-drain of a limb raised, late July
light off a copper sunflower on a stick –

The dark on a stick,
a city on the other end of it.

* * *

And where are all the people who made
the sticks, the things?

Do they live in birdhouses? Do they eat
off toothpicks? Are they Chinese, Japanese?
Pogoing a popular form of locomotion?

* * *

On summer days the shorts come out,
short skirts, bare arms, lengthened
tan skin, a few dark brown dots.
Some trees above us (green on sticks)

so shade diffuses sun, ’till ten o'clock
when they pack up the sticks in vans
and drive so fast they hope to miss
next morning's eastern light advance.

–Kit Nicholls, Troy

Take me back to the Summer Fiction index. E-mail comments to

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