Don’t ask me for love poems by Carol Thornton

Poem title: Don’t ask me for love poems
Poet name: Carol Thornton
Poem: The back of the shack you built with our lanky son
and the sage-stained fence 
form two long sides of a triangle 
where you throw old posts, bent cycle wheels,
rake handles splintered by damp. In the shadow
of the overhanging eaves,
a robin, barely fledged, shrinks 
her dishevelled self toward her heart, 
barely resists when I cup her into my palms,
her breast a molten flutter. I persuade you
to build an enclosure of chicken-wire.

You watch me trowel a small depression
for a Sunlight lid of cool water,
draw lengthening earthworms from the peony bed,
divide lean minced beef into tiny portions.
After dark we count satellites, interpret clouds,
name the constellations, mindful of children sleeping inside.

In a week I take up the cage. The robin flaps
from the boards to the bird bath.
(You back into the cool kitchen
when I fire stones at the neighbour’s cat.)
One morning the bird flies
from the bird bath to the plum tree
to the top of the Russian olive. I watch her
rise above the roof.
					In September
as I race the wasps to harvest warm black grapes,
a robin watches me from the fence. I don’t think
I recognize it.
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Carol Thornton
Previously published in Mays 2003: The May Anthologies, Varsity Publications Ltd., Cambridge UK; 2003.
Carol Thornton grew up in Eagle Valley, Alberta, on the farm her great-grandfather homesteaded in 1905. She moved to Saskatchewan and explored writing at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, Fort San and was on the founding board of Sage Hill Writing Experience. She moved to the UK in 1999, studied Creative Writing at Oxford and was granted an MA from the University of East Anglia.  Her poetry and short stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada, England, Ireland, the USA and Romania (in translation), and won several competitions, and a radio play was broadcast on CBC Radio. Her book, Writer on Fire: Poetry Prompts to Ignite the Poet Within was recently published. Carol returned to Alberta in 2014. She’s a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, inScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, and Writers on Fire writing group. She lives and writes in Canmore in the Rocky Mountains.