Us, Back Round

Wheezy baby, I called her that, then. Tree sprung, wind rot—
slid view of rain knots.

I looked away, and she kept on. Wheeze. Spiral bound, basket tilt,
the world was orbed again. Warp and wilt

looped fine. Clouds blew—not breath-flipped
but a march-along trumpet riff

through the soak. Breather. Smoke exhumed, my slacks
pulled up. I said, Come on. (Alacrity

my motto, with the basket, all day.) “Smear mouth,” some man said.
“No pleats.” And looked away. Wheezy red

above the wicker, round and round, her geography disrupted by that pond
Lagoon and bugs and frogs.

Then, those were we. Wheezy whee! Nougat
with a thumb poked through.



Frances McCue is a writer and arts instigator living in Seattle. She was the founding director of Richard Hugo House from 1996-2006. On her tenth anniversary, she left her job to devote more time to writing. She has a book of poems, The Stenographer's Breakfast, from Beacon Press.