Saturday, April 28, 2007

Daughter of Death

for Kristin

O beloved daughter of death, mother of life,
All these things return
To one small turning of the hand, fingers
Hesitating on a doorknob, in the red slant light
Of day's end, in the glow of the apple petals.

Darling, the generations ripple past,
Rings on the water, faster than the years
When I still counted --

We reach into the spaces of the past, wishing
We could return a childhood to those who had none.
But it is delicate, handling the past;
It crumbles under our touch, the grit slides
Between our fingers. Better not to speak.

Love. I will go on saying that word, not
Because it means what I mean, but because
Nothing means what I mean. You see?

Again it rises. You see? There, where
Venus trembles in the west, where the dark hills
Crowd together. That's where it is born;
We go calling it through daybleach and sungloom
But always, it finds our backs.

No one finds it. It finds us.

If I could string together all the beads of this love
I would hang them around your neck
My darling daughter of death, mother of life;
I would bring you a poem to astonish

Tree and stone, water and wheel,
The bloody sunset, the stained petals,
The opening sky, the veins of cloud,
The long shadows and the closing door.

No comments: