apologies to E. H.
"Blow, blow, ye western wind... Christ, that my love were
in my arms and in my bed again"
Once she hated it, like Hemingway's Catherine
hated rain, (I see myself dead in it). Now, she sits
in solitude at the gentle offspring that sidles,
nay, croons, around the corners of a porch. Quietude
is in its whispered wisdom, filtering insight
into occluded childhood: Northeast ogre storms that
belted the beach, blew stinging sheets of sand,
formed salt-spit scum onto bedroom windows
to blind a child who sought clarity.
Now, in lieu of sea oats, a crepe myrtle blooms
full-out. Skeletal in winter is an asymmetry she
loved, as in Ernest's "stark black sculptures"
of winter trees on walks in his Paris neighborhood,
but the blossoming myrtle lifts an abandoned nest,
its purpose a 'fait accompli", the babies flown
like her own. Beach lore did not prepare for how
spring would bring empurpled flowering cones, leafy
branches returning the beauty, the familiar music
of birthing, here, in the eighty-first summer
of her life. "Eighty-one," asks the wind?
"It's just a number..."
The myrtle undulates, rustles, speaks
of passages with leaf-language that needs
no interpreter. An assurance
of long lifetimes. Fastened as they are,
they can bend and sway, giving signs
of grace that say, we can change,
We can change