Marigold (for Nils Petersen)

O’ what can she, ‘neath the great
Swaying shadow, what can she say
As he shuffles for churls and gentry
To cackling fiddles and stoked coals?

Chains rattle every dogged step
He growls his guttural need
Offers paws of smeared flowers
To her in that raucous crowd
Howls for his forest, for a world
Without torches and the iron prod.

A mountain dancing for a marigold
He lumbers first this way, then that;
In her face upturned, in her eyes
He sees the way back.