January 4, 2010
Each finger stings, cracked by the pushing and pulling
of quills shaken free from Rothschild’s porcupine
in the crisply verdant world to the south of south.
In and out, dying red the laces of spun perle cotton,
grown in the desert heat for fortitude against doubt,
binding eight panels of silk from the inhabitants of
the emperor’s private white mulberry trees gathered
from his tea by his long-fingered sly-smiled geishas.
The erstwhile queen, herself, donates her passé
farthingale stays as ribs for the canopy.
Gently attached by notched baleen, discovered by
Yankee whalers lost in the vagaries of time,
to the shaft, hand-carved from the eminent posts
of ash trees blown asunder by unseasonable tsunamis.
Waxed for the elements using the personal hives
of the blind Swiss scientist Francois Huber,
lacquered for the laity with the whispered secrets of the Orient,
blessed as beautiful by the Voodoo priest and his golden Christ
and the asylum escapees bobbing their heads
yes, yes, yes, not since big blue-skyed Nut herself, yes
So is borne, the sacred umbrella.