Sunday, July 10, 2005

a poem for Gladys

I drove over rutted farm roads,
through woods & marshes
caught your tree first in my field of vision
5 stories tall and sitting on a hill
its limbs knotty & furled with your photographs
like leaves and newspaper clippings hung high
& dancing in the ever changing Maine sky
below the tree, a stack of books opened
and a horse with a mournful eye
& you a girl
asleep in the pea patch-belly full like a turnip
your house a silent clapboard museum
the fields left to the birds & in the barn
stood your old airplane, sundusted soft, light filtering through the cracks and windows

In an old woman's dream there are vegetable patches,
with corn, cucumber & carrots
there are sneaky sisters & lost brothers
horses along the beach,
fragile fingers poking at an electric typewriter
forgotten friends who call, a cat whose name is no longer remembered
there are always cats- you said
& dogs who slept in the barn with the mice who dared to creep
which beside lay a road
not many drove upon
a grove in the far corner of the field hidden along the forest line-irrigation ponds which housed a thousand birds in the fall, a step ignites their rapid flight
with you hlding my arm, to steady against there migration

the hydrangea morph from white to pink
color caught & plucked to dry among the rafters
& rocks that your father rolled
in the trees your brother's climbed
the moss has grown on the bark
branches fallen and regrowing
lying in the brush
they taken your broom, the garden's now weeded through
the bulkhead locked and tied
your house stands alone
a cup on the counter
flys awakening in the window wells
you've moved on

eating memories as you lie awake far from home
a friend on a train, a hand you held, a bridle, a little girl's favorite food
a grandfather's face against the deep wooden walls,
a hand leaving no impression
your a child in Salem, with the two French girls on the boulevard
at the church that rocked its Baptist feet
forever moved
presently your arms ache to make the motion of climbing
to the highest point of the tree,
where your airplane awaits
for you-
the only woman to guard our jagged coast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

jennea just red the poem i'm sure this means she is gone. she was agreat woman would to have loved to known her in her prime . your poem is just beautiful. love mom