My friend sent me a lei of strawflowers from the city of our childhood:
brittle corollas of yellow undercut by orange that we called Everlasting.
I remember the slides in the park, and the kiddy train one summer: it looped around its
periphery, a blur of red and orange. Just a few minutes, but the ride seemed everlasting.
And women from the hills, their baskets filled with dried snipe, amulets, herbs;
their woven skirts striped vivid orange (the sound of their voices, everlasting)—
In that world, everything seemed possible; in that world, time seemed almost too slow.
Now I’m brought up short in the shoals as the sun reddens in a sky unrelenting—
At sunrise, two birds call— heraldic, but fleeting. Such tender things in the world:
smudged with blue, capped with little streaks of rust. Glyphs from the everlasting.
Tell me I haven’t done too little, that I’ve made some difference to you;
even if in the end I might be judged wanting, unhinged: mortal, not everlasting.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Rest Stop
- Ghazal, Between the Lines
- Ghazal, Beaded with Rain
- Night Heron, Ascending
- Derecho Ghazal
- Mid-year Ghazal
- Mortal Ghazal
- Landscape, with Chinese Lanterns
- Charmed Life
- What We’ll Remember
- Ghost of a pulse in the throat
- Throttle Ghazal
- Of Nectar
- Getting There
- Four-Way Stop
- Flood Alphabet
- The hummingbird isn’t the only bird
- A hawk circles over the ridge
- Rather than the tightening fist,
- Reversed Alphabet of Rain
- (poem temporarily hidden by author)
- Letter, to Order
- There’s a bird that comes
- September 1972
- Fire Drill