Finally I had to close the book,
take a furlough. The language
though rare, raw-boned,
was only words,
across a page.
My eyes grew red
but not with tears. I wanted
to circumnavigate those lines,
sail straight into that searing sea
the poet swam, but instead
I shut the book.
I sat on my park bench, book in lap,
and real poetry leapt to life before my eyes.
A brunette child on tiptoe
lifted a fistful of her mother's hair
to her nose as if
it were a buttercup.
She closed her eyes, lashes
thick as sable brushes against her her cheeks,
and when she opened them again,
alliteration laughed aloud.
My heart seized
as my hand rose
to my face, invisible curl captured
in childish fingers
I breathed the fragrance of my mother's hair,
her neck, her ear.
I thought I might drop right there
in a puddle of tears, even if strangers
thought me a lunatic
Contained in one instant,
forgiving time delivered lifetimes,
a verse so fully drawn, and when you stood
behind me and asked what was wrong,
I couldn't explain. The moment
had passed beyond words.