Her husband has died.
I think about that as I fold the laundry
And put your t-shirts away.
How will I know if you have left me?
Standing here at your dresser,
Things emptied from your pockets
Scattered among the photos-
Framed memories of fishing trips,
Your birthday a few weeks before we were married,
Costume parties and the family
Grinning at the camera.
Will your image fade from view
Even in these?
Will what we are become undone
As you become undone?
I can’t think of it
The fantasy too real to dwell on.
Her husband is gone
But you are not.
I smooth the wrinkles from the cotton shirt
And close the dresser drawer.
I write you from the edge of things
the corners of rooms
and margins of old atlases
where dragons live
and sea monsters swim
It is here where I marvel at each dawn
and wonder if you are well
and have enough to eat
enough to dream
I write to you from the center
of the universe as I know it
the tiny corner of space
where you used to live
and where your voice sang hymns
of praise and restoration
I decided to write a silly poem about the moon
But your name kept coming up in conversation and with it
the way the moon looked that night
And the way the air moved with the trees
As though they had secrets to keep
There is nothing really that rhymes with the waning moon
Nothing that I can think of except that it sometimes rhymes with the snow
And sometimes with the way your blues eyes capture the moment like a polaroid camera
How is it that I have lived all these years and didn’t know
that shaking those pictures didn’t make the image appear any quicker
My impatience to see what I had just seen
To record it somehow so that it would be clearer
That waxing and waning are still metaphors
And my hair is still silver
in the soft white light of the April Egg moon
*** A fragment of a poem written a few years ago, recovered in honor of the Super April Egg Moon
he kisses me
as if he has better things to do
distracted by whatever
is in the foreword of his inner workings
tick tocking behind his blue eyes (those eyes!)
sketching plans on invisible whims
to catch the first train out of the station
riding heady currents of his singular thoughts
he has slept in my bed
for a thousand years
that have nothing to do with me
what has love got to do with it
Too much chocolate and intimacy,
our emotions crowd
this small room.
The overwrought day of love and hearts
founders with the consumption.
Thank God these feasts are few and far between
and the dull days
that drift from indifference
even in the thinnest context
for us to rest our heads upon.
Love will again become happily perfunctory
without the need for overloaded emotions
drying on our faces.
Too much is too much
and I willingly give back
all those candy hearts and paper doilies.
Give me the day to day
workmanship of your love,
the confection melted away
to the unsweetened morsel of us.
time will not stand still-
autumn has deepened
across the Ozarks ridge
and you are not here
you could be in Tuscany
for all I know
flirting with the grandmothers
with your beautiful blue eyes
and smiling at the children
playing in the piazza
as you drink espresso
and trade lies
with the young men
I can see the warm Italian sun
against your silver mane
so handsome and at ease
strolling up the cobblestone path
with golden sunflowers
and a good bottle of red
I walk my cloistered walk
alone in our empty room
I will trade our bed for the narrow cot
of a nun
and cast my longings into prayers
but you are not in Italy
you are working long days
in the high lonesome desert of west Texas
where the autumn stars are out
as you lie in your own monks cot
to say good night
This poem is a bucket.
This poem is a moonbeam.
This poem is my husband.
A container of vague reference and history,
its origins unknown but its utility humbly significant.
Whether wooden or metallic in form, it chooses
to be the holder or keeper of all possibilities,
whether rain or mop water or tender young things safely carried.
This poem is a bucket.
Petals of pale yellow dancing in the spring breeze,
moving with the changing weather and seasons.
Sturdy and perennial, its heart moves with the tides
of earth, rain and sun. It is hardworking and dependable,
though its many faces show its charm and golden light.
This poem is a moonbeam coreopsis.
Bringer of gifts, deeply rooted and bound
to the rich soil of our earth,
a partner in a garden of different minds,
growing in systematic wildness, each portrayed
in the best possible light
or shade depending on its habits.
He is the keeper of spades and implements,
ancient rituals of furrows and seed.
He is the blue eyed boy smiling with his weed filled bouquet.
This poem is my husband.
This poem is a moonbeam coreopsis brought home in a bucket by my husband.
*** A Boomerang Metaphor poem -a form created by Hannah Gosselin
whose instructions can be found on Hannah’s site, Metaphors and Smiles,
Copyright © Hannah Gosselin and Metaphors and Smiles, 2011-14
The Geology of Marriage
Our eons hidden under the topography
of the day to day,
years compressed into striations
of lives lived.
The igneous layer of crystallized need
eroded and reformed,
creating colorful promontories
etched by wind
into hieroglyphic memories
painted in exposed rock.
where old fossilized
hurts and frustrations
Bones of contention
waiting to be re-formed
to make dusty arguments
Digging to the metamorphic core
where we were created
by the fire of our first passion.
where we return
to be changed
and changed again.
It was the second spring in the old farmhouse,
you seeded the open meadow with red clover.
A common cover crop,
it did just that,
covering the slope
in luxurious rich deep green leaves,
topped by scarlet globes
of soft feathered blossoms.
Honeybees, intoxicated with
sweet perfume, staggered in the warm spring breeze,
humming their drunken songs
in sweet unison.
The bees song bewitched us-
a sirens song.
we walked across the meadow,
thigh high in clover,
waist deep in bees.
The hillside undulating,
shimmering with invisible wings.
The sound of a million bees
Their voices so deep,
it echoed in our bodies.
We held our hands out to feel the vortices of their wings.
We were carried in a wind
of wing song.
We were golden with pollen.
The honey was rich that year-
and filled with the song of a million bees.
Translating the ancient language of our long marriage-
Our vocabulary of years, memory and choices:
Love as verb
Cor ad cor loquitur…Heart speaks to heart
Love as noun
Amor vencet omnia…Love conquers all
But in the diagramming of that sentence is the lie-
Time, not love, is the conqueror
And our end is closer than our beginning.
Eheu fugaces labuntur anni
Alas the fleeting years slip by
In ictu oculi
In the blink of an eye….