Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Roof, Part II

Oh, yes, I knew. How could I not? Who better
to detect the small motions of intimacy, the gaiety?
I wasn't born yesterday. And across
the long green surge of water, the treachery
of cold pilings gulping, the uncertain sky –
I discover only what was always there: it was only
ever love. So I was right, after all.
And if it twinges, what of that? I never expected
a life free of twinges. I never expected a life at all.

I recover the hammer from the muddy ground,
recover the heft and sway of it. No notion
of what to build. That comes later.

I would take back only one thing. I said
I would never be happy, and that's true enough,
but I said it in bitterness, as if it were your fault.
I wonder if I can say, now, that I'm sorry?
I have more wilderness to wander in,
but that is not your fault; it never was.

But this happiness is one piece
I can hammer into place. This joy
need no longer be denied or idolized.
It's paid for, done, sealed, and still.

And the warm beating in my hand
of some strange fruit takes life again,
fledges in one flowering moment
and wheels toward a country still unknown.

12 comments:

rbarenblat said...

{{{you}}}

This is beautiful. I love "Who better / to detect the small motions of intimacy" and "across / the long green surge of water, the treachery / of cold pilings gulping, the uncertain sky[.]" And "it was only / ever love." Yes. Yes.

marly youmans said...

I like this, Dale (though please forgive if maybe I have a little teeny difficulty with the end as I picture the warm fruit beating in your hand in a way you do not mean. If mine, I would tweak that a tiny bit.)

But I particularly like the whole tone of the poem and the way you've marshaled the pauses in the first stanza.

Dale said...

Yes, I saw that secondary image, and it made me laugh, & I kept it deliberately, but maybe it derails the end of the poem :-)

Zhoen said...

Your poetry is the only stuff that reaches in and strokes my heart to make it quiver and tingle.

carolee said...

i wanted to highlight the same bits as rachel and this:

I would take back only one thing. I said / I would never be happy, and that's true enough,/ but I said it in bitterness, as if it were your fault.

the line breaks in this are wonderful. xo

marly youmans said...

Dale,

Well, a bit! You'll have to think about whether you want that to poke its head up or not!

Dale said...

Well, now, I could say the same sort of thing about that last comment, couldn't I? :-)

Jayne said...

Haha! Still laughing about Marly's comment. The heft and the sway of the hammer resonate w/me. Reminds me of summers helping Dad with one construction project or another.

Yes, hammer away. :)

marly youmans said...

Indeed, Dale! Just could not resist...

O silly me!

rbarenblat said...

I cannot believe I missed the innuendo. ::facepalm::

You're all wonderful.

Dale said...

Hey, I missed it at first, and I wrote it :-)

Fire Bird said...

I'm struggling more with the idea of flying fruit