they gather on the shoreline
in twos and threes, minuets of crocus
and snow

of pollen and its honey
bee, collecting on picnic blankets
for pontoon boating

the markings of a man
and the floated kiss of a spider,
lipstick leaving

webbed lines under her
closed and sandy eyes (lips pursed
wrists poised)

a tiger creeps from his
flesh, more prize than stripe
the brink

of good morning stretching
like a farmhouse sink now filling
with salt so

they begin to play, the earth
sits up with backs to the wind
faces whisper

into the sun while the tympani
tracks in a meter not unlike
the sea

(after William Steig’s Members of a Culture | About People, 1939)