Tuesday, November 06, 2007

WHAT WE KNOW

In the woods the summer birds

learn to fly, testing the air

& careful through sun & leaf the quick

fawn steps & stands

lured by roses & ripened plums


What we desire we cannot have


I know this; all my life

comes to this still moment. Between rocks

water wells up: call it spring

or miracle you say

smiling into the sun


on this hilltop where the hawks cry out


& the children paint

with stems of dried grass & wildflowers

making hearts & their names

on white cloth

your darkhaired daughter laughing


All my life the summer birds


have put on feathers & flown away

If I were

to touch your wet skin

to drink your clear water

dear my life, what could my hands


hold to

an old, old poem. It was printed in Prairie Schooner--oh, it must be more than 10 years ago now. Sometimes the road not taken does haunt one. The person this was written for will be in town this weekend with one of the children of his latest marriage. Wistfulness arises.

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