Maria Exhibits Her Wares
Outside, the slow, motionless mating
terrapins, and here, in the silence,
a single terrapin, black and shining,
with bright moon spots on his shell,
eyes of green turquoise, looking as if
he were ready to spring
out of his case and crawl
with uncharacteristic speed.
The black bear is waiting too,
his neck bent, his nose nuzzling
the lid of his box. Cornered,
Maria glints through slant eyes
at the world she made. Later,
she will hold it like a single
vase, shapely and full as your body.
In the large jar, the one with a lid,
there is a lizard, a stylized bird,
a bear, a frog and bison -- all
miraculously contained. And a deer,
with a heartline rare in the
has left behind all her craft.
She beams lazily from a dazzler blanket,
red and gold as the sun, sniffs
the moist heady scent of earth
where, moments before, the terrapins
met and, without intention, really
quite by chance, moved
the museum pieces to life.