An Idle Tale

Watching a skink skitter off the porch

where its night-slowed blood was licked

to life by hot tongues of morning sun,

so that at the sound of my toes in the grass

he shot into the shadows, forsaking his tail–

that living sliver of lapis left with necessary

detachment like the too-heavy child on the

refugee road or an offering to a hungry god,

I wondered aloud to the abandoned tail

how long it planned to wiggle

and did it think that I thought that it was all?

Right about then, my thoughts twitched back

to Peter, sitting cold with the thick-blooded

ten in a shuttered room when Mary came

running with a tale they called idle,

lacking the curiosity to come close and see

the quivering piece of truth she carried,

while back in the garden where the sun shone

on a heaved over stone, the part without the tale,

warmed and quickened, and moved on.


© dana hughes 4.20.14