by Marjorie Power
Is she alive? Is she there
in her gray house, spinning gold
out of the post-winter-solstice gray sky?
Those clouds hover forever in memory
above the street we shared,
she with brushes, paints, clay,
bits of delicate fabric, chunks of wood,
rusted bolts, and a thread-like
18 karat chain (gift
of her lifelong love)
set to dangle in an open-faced box,
one of those sculptures she glazed
to look slightly scorched, while I
would stare out the back of my own house
into cedars, moss, hemlocks, ferns, alders, firs
and translate green back into the Goddess. No kiln
for me, no canvasses large or small. All I had was my pen
and something to write on. Sometimes I’d bring Sylvia
my poem. She’d startle at an image, wade in, wander,
put the page away where she could find it.
All I have is my pen
and no word from her.
Not anymore, even at Christmas.
The Tour Guide Decides Not to Retire After All
I tell Gabriel it’s time to get back on the road.
So we trespass. We drive that private road
right to its end. Traditional squirrel stew
on an open fire. If it’s cooked, eat it. Why not,
indeed. The highlights of the trip are always accidental.
An intense, even savage attention to life’s fine print.
Bluegrass and moonshine. The man in the chair
spits shave lather into the air. It swirls through
the smoky restaurant and darkening courtyard.
This fall, these mummies will be shown.
The mummies feel like family to many people.
The decision to push on despite being lost.
You won’t find my tips in any guide book.
Avoid poring over a large map in public. Stay
vigilant. Watch your wallet. Most importantly, move on.