for Beth, with love
This quiet space in the gathering fury of the world,
This philosopher's tower with old lace curtains,
Where words of uncertain meaning but certain significance
Linger on the walls, among the paints and easels --
Pause here. There is the small oak desk
She had when she was a child; she is not one
Who abandons old friends. Moving into exile
She will take the memory of this room with her,
And this room will carry the memory of her.
No doubt the curtains will come down, the heat
Will be updated. New fixtures will appear on the wall
Or on the ceiling. But at day's end, a certain slant of light
Will fall on the face of a puzzling New Englander,
A touch on the hand, a shared joy in the garden, though
No one, supposedly, is there. "It's a calm room,"
She'll say, uncertainly, knowing
There's more to it than that; a pebble dropped
Into the pool of thought, widening circles of light --
No place where God has been made welcome
Ever forgets Her.