September 03, 2004

The loss of a spouse

Some Clouds by Steve Kowit, from The Dumbbell Nebula

Now that I've unplugged the phone
no one can reach me--
At least for this one afternoon
they will have to get by without my advice or opinion.
Now nobody else is going to call
& ask in a tentative voice
if I haven't yet heard that she's dead,
that woman I once loved—
nothing but ashes scattered over a city
that barely itself any longer exists.
Yes, thank you, I've heard.
It had been too lovely a morning.
That in itself should have warned me.
The sun lit up the tangerines
& the blazing poinsettias
like so many candles.
For one afternoon they will have to forgive me.
I am busy watching things happen again
that happened a long time ago,
as I lean back in Josephine's lawn chair
under a sky of incredible blue,
broken--if that is the word for it--
by a few billowing clouds,
all white & unspeakably lovely,
drifting out of one nothingness into another.

Change of Season by Stellasue Lee

I've not wanted to leave the house lately.
I've been content as grass growing
wild with color
deeply rooted,
as an old tree with new growth for spring.

I long for nothing -
dream of just where I am,
worry over the indoor plants,
and the camellias coloring the front porch,
the roses gathering strength from winter.

Oh, did I mention the coyote
walking down the middle of the road
at four in the afternoon yesterday?
And that I woke to rain today?
Did I tell you that I put a log in the fireplace

and when the embers turned bright orange,
I added all the court papers,
all but the final decree,
and watched as the whole thing went up?
They burned bright as a sunny day.


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