Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tribute to New Songs (for Carol)

I wrote this poem about ten years ago for my sister Carol. Time hasn't diminished it's meaning for me.

For the girl you once were, the music
That got lost in the wilderness of your mind.
Returning again and again to the lost images
Of your own youth, you learned everything
The hard way. Your singing voice
Longed to stretch out
Under this night-painted sky, but
How could such a sleep be sustained
Where time knew nothing but time
In the distilled center of anticipation?

And now it’s the children, offspring
Of some unlearned delight
Of planting heart-seeds
(how you heard that first cry so deeply),
Their hearts full of beginning, worlds
Unfolding in their eyes,
Faces intent on blossoming a flower
Far beyond infancy, drinking from your lips
The one phrase that even your smile
Could no longer contain: everything is possible.
Small fingers poised to grasp this strange fruit
That you tasted and expected to find
Almost too sweet.

It was no single incident.
Couldn’t you put your finger on it?
Their laughter open to the air, every song
Was completed within them. Listen;
It awoke the trumpets in your blood.
Hidden behind petals of sleep,
The forgotten murmuring garden
Where statues play shadow-tag,
And the rain sounds like applause.

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