I love you like a dragon in spiky spininess
that wallops barns to tinder, thunders woodland
floor. In scary thorns pricking girly curls
and nightly cricket trail. In mountainous toes
that scoop earth’s foes, scales raging blustery
skies slice down to burning questions—chocolate
or apple pie? In hot breath, crafty yellow eye,
I set the meatiest afire. I love you bold and bolder,
I seek the sweeter hearts. Unafraid of the darker
deep, door creaked in dream-tossed sleep,
my pointy wings wing high, wing low, sisters
sheltered here beneath. What do I love, my darlings,
what do I love most of all? A grounded love
so sure of flight, without manners, without
slight. The brightest love, through time
and place, the fiercest love no one dare fight.
A toothless love that has no bite,
unbound and bounding, sear delight.
Linda Parsons is a poet, playwright, and an editor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She is the reviews editor for Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel and served as poetry editor of Now & Then magazine for many years. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Georgia Review, One, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, Shenandoah, in Ted Kooser’s column American Life in Poetry, and in numerous anthologies. This Shaky Earth is her fourth poetry collection (Texas Review Press). Parsons’s adaptation, Macbeth Is the New Black, co-written with Jayne Morgan, was produced at Maryville College and Western Carolina University, and her play Under the Esso Moon was read as part of the 2016 Tennessee Stage Company’s New Play Festival and received a staged reading in spring 2017.