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BOOKS & THE CULTURE A Slant at Green I walked to school in Wallace Stevens’ weather the mind of a Texas winter making me believe clouds move in to get close to us, to rub up against the color green soaking in the approaching field. Over my head flew five South American parrots blown in at a slant on the wind, green as a bird gets in a sea of spring leaves. Each feather like a leaf dressing up an oak under the heady lights of the sun. Each tree limb a waiting wing extended toward the nick of claws. Each calling parrot magnified in the wind to sound like a woman my age in awe, with the wind in her face like a woman enraged with the night or crazy enough in love with just the morning air. Awake and almost hearing green. Red Gloves I’m wearing your red gloves now. When my fingertips touch the spaces your fingertips filled, it’s like putting on your skin. When I smell the mildew two years in a coat pocket hung in a damp back closet I think of the place you came from and returned to. The ebony trees of Rio Hondo covered the yard with thorns. Long gone grapefruit blooms you wanted to bottle and wear. The early morning chant of the chachalakas perched in the trees you never could see. But these hands now red in your leather gloves. Leather gloves come against finally saying in words, if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t know. You will leave a rip in a blue room a song still comes throughdesperate not to scare us. DIANN A. MADE Diann A. McCabe grew up in central Texas and lived in Atlanta, Memphis, Mississippi, and Indonesia before returning to complete an MFA in poetry at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. She teaches poetry in San Marcos schools as a volunteer. McCabe writes, “The responses of children often find their way into my poems as do memories of objects and scenes that seem to speak to me.” At this moment when summer weather is nearly behind us, but not quite, McCabe’s poems feel rich with blurred seasons, deeply redolent of wind, change, and time. Naomi Shihab Nye OCTOBER 24, 1997 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 25 t . 1.111111.1111111111101111101W