The Green Prize for Poetry, 2017

Hymn for the End of Drought

by Frances Revel
 
had fattened had sunned
had fevered as was
instructed by those
 
before me.        tilted
the vial of what water
could be gathered
 
to my lip. reached
full youth and sauntered
to the twilight
 
field of husks. followed
suit and peeled my own.
unspooled and miraculous,
 
it stretched into shapes
to allow me to build
a husk mother.                   gave her
 
palms    and irises of
beaming chestnut
hull.                       allowed me
 
to build a husk
father.                gave him
a wool neck.     dug between
 
them ‘til the earth
was wet and had about it
a drumbeat. it did not
 
resist. between the two,
a something. it gave its
title to my cause. immediately
 
I fattened it. I sunned it.
I brought it to the pillowy
               ditch bottom, devoid
 
of water and of perfect
size for us. I dared not
wake it from the bed
 
I'd gathered of crocus
petal and jasmine’s hypnotic
lull.                  Once tempered
 
the heart now knew
to whinny up against
its bounds.
 
I composed for us
a breath that entered
                   that entered