Monday, July 18, 2005

I will miss Mary

A poem I wrote for Mary Biddinger, who meets with our poetry workshop for the last time tonight. She will be sorely missed.

Leave, Light, Entropy
for Mary Biddinger

The white bark appears, even though
it’s not winter. The landscape, caved in
by the squeeze of intimacy,
holds you as a vanishing point.
A complacent valley. Like the bird back, you channel
dry wind into eventual breath. Sing
to me once more, given the number of days.
If your braids will allow it.

We keep our names, like scavengers,
close and underwater. It wouldn’t be like this
if the moonlight was the same color:
yours a rusting red, mine green and fading. We share
the knowing otherwise. Precincts.
Heat and our own eventual collapse. But the opal,
with clear intention,
is the fire of you. Dirt floors of a log cabin,
two people like planks, reach through.
Of what remains,
send me the owl in an envelope.
The word for her rustle of trees.
I will owe it all to you.

My mother twisting each timber
of hair, weave me in a circle
like a basket. Who are you in the blanket
of another place? Are you still a cannon,
ripe with powder,
coming out of an unnamed battle? We’ll call it sycamore
by looking at the leaves. Plainly, sweetly, spread out
like three fingers, untying a message
of partial sun. Bark rind cutting our hands; clearly,
we’re holding on too tight.

3 comments:

Scott Glassman said...

Mackenzie, a moving poem. I'm riveted by this section:

Precincts.
Heat and our own eventual collapse. But the opal,
with clear intention,
is the fire of you. Dirt floors of a log cabin,
two people like planks, reach through.
Of what remains,
send me the owl in an envelope.
The word for her rustle of trees.
I will owe it all to you.

The first and second stanzas are rendered in a deeply felt way, which is not sentimental. The owl image is incredibly beautiful. And your last line, fantastic, bravo!

Scott Glassman said...

my poetry workshop started today! wish me good revising :-)

Penultimatina said...

Oh my goodness, Mackenzie! I am so moved, and I love the poem! Thank you.

I love this especially:

send me the owl in an envelope

Needing waterproof mascara,

MB