Poetry: ‘Parade,’ ‘Fever’

From our May/June issue, two poems by proud Texas poet Laurence Musgrove, a professor of English at Angelo State University



When everyone has a rope

To hold and balance our big

Country high above our heads,

We walk together like nothing is

In our hands or above us at all. 

But if we have to march because

There is no rope for us to hold

(See it now starting to float away,

Small in the sky) what do we take

In our hands to bring it back down?



Where would you like to sit

As you watch the world come to an end?

You remember the fragrant infant halo

Of your daughter’s hair and also how

Helpless you felt at her fever and red

Tears as you pressed the cool cloth to

Her head and arms and phoned the doctor 

And waited on hold—your broken pleas.  

We have called our Earth our mother

So long we’ve forgotten she’s our baby, too.