Sunday, November 28, 2021

Love Poem by Linda Gregerson

Love Poem

Once, my very best darling, the sea
  and the land were all one mass
and the light was confused and hadn’t found
  a place to rest. And, Megan, love,
my sister’s eyes were not yet there to hold it all
  together since she hadn’t yet been born so when
the world dropped out from under us and no one,
  not the on-calls with their CAT scans, not
the sovereign souls who monitor
  the twilit room where newborns come to die
or live, when no one could tell us if you
  would be one of the lucky ones able to
walk and speak and only this, the one
  unstinted blessing fate had given us to
give you was a sister in whose eyes you were
  the sun and moon, it meant we all no matter
what befell us all
  had solid ground.    Pity the part
we think we do on purpose.
When Karen was dying and books had shut
  their doors to her, she could still make out the
puzzle of knit and purl. I’m keeping it simple,
  she said, although the pattern
emerging beneath her fine hands did not
  look simple to me. An
A. A B. An alphabet. And all in the single
  color, milk. The letters distinguished
by only the altered stitchwork so
  the nursery would be beautiful.
Whichever of the children has a baby first,
  she said, she loved
the future, no matter she wouldn’t be there.
Second-born. As fateful as the transit
  to light and air or so you’ve often tried
to teach me I will never properly understand.
  But I know
how the hair at your temples curls in
  summer when the air is moist. As if
she’d been returned to me.
  I must have had some under-the-radar
notion even then when we were children how
  that little looseness threw
my petty masteries in the shade. And so
  the joy of it was lost on me. Till you.
I’m the only person living who
  remembers her childhood curls.

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