In Memoriam

1973 Poem to My Husband Jack

loving you is like having land-
scapes—thousands of them—to
live in and look at. i get oh end-
less views of the same scene, and
certainly endless scenes.

i love you. i love you when
your sky is clear, and your
mountains afar are oh exalted, crowned,
with the most enthusiastic white!
the purest enthusiasm!

i love you when (always)
you are an open, almost-invisible-except-
for-your-reflections mountain stream.
i hear you rippling your way
through life. serious. bubbly. intent.
like all water, a source of refresh-
ment. you refresh me, and i miss it
when you don’t.

i’ve been lost in your canyons—
mysterious, ageless formations of
wisdom, philosophy, strength…
windings carved oh constantly by
some gentleness weaving its way
through you.
may your wilderness of nooks and
crannies (small private places)…
may your wilderness of sun and shadow trails…
may your wildness of rocky thoughts
be preserved and grow.

i’ve breathed in your damp forest smells:
the greenness of your youth
the mossy traps life holds for you
the roots twisted in your good earth
the rotting vegetation
the stagnant pools & swamps
the dead stumps
your sometimes lack of
growth which
decays and becomes oh something else
and the multitude of tree smells,
all woodsy, sap-laden, pungent,
piney…i love you green & growing.

and your deserts!
haven’t i wandered through your
arid lands, longed for an april day
of life signs?
haven’t i wanted you to burst forth
oh exuberantly,
rather than be beaten down by a
long hot spell of trekking through
i love you. you will have your
deserts. alone. or with me
if you choose.

the ocean…is there no end
to your horizon, to your waves on me,
to your tides of affection?
at night, your breathing
ceases to be a merely human thing. it melts
into the rhythm of the universe:
the surf.
again and again, so natural, oh so
inevitable, i am swept out to sea.
i love you.

plains. prairies.
I dance in your wildflowers
and grasses…
stub my toe on an occasional stone…
oh you are so honest.
forthright. open.
i love you.

i won’t talk about your seasons,
your storms, your night-and-day,
your hours and moments…
it would take me forever
to limn the history and memories
and fantasies and reality.
i guess i do seek to possess or
imbibe or assimilate or oh
become one with you. you should be flattered,
you know, that i bare myself like this,
and confess this longing but oh
do not let me put boundaries
on your lands.
may many travelers visit your planet.
yet not least of all,
me whom you have chosen,
as i have chosen you, too.
keep us joined
in your oh forever landscapes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.