Anthony Deaton

All Effect

For this reason hail in June

and how we read the season


jeremiad or excuse

to shelter in the park gazebo


as white granular ciphers

written hectic and sky-bitten


over the well-mannered lawn

spell birdsong despite it all


or because of it perhaps

grackles crowd lower boughs


keen and scold the wintry

missiles with shrill flushing


whistles that overbrim

loosening like unpent steam


from the tea kettle’s grip

singing for this reason


your loose shoulder strap

a little falls a little falls


what your freckled shoulder means

on the tip of my tongue.




“All Effect” appeared in Rhumb Lines (Sutton Hoo Press, 2002).