For Thelma Rosner
A freak spring snow storm made us take the old
route along a creek that flushed, gushed, touched
off tremors of foaming water so cold
and bright we knew we'd come to a source,
the beginning rush of a water's course
that later would slake the thirsts of millions,
but now we were alone with it and knew
its potential. That was all. Then we drove
past the falls and back onto the highway
in awe of optimism's play,
fizzing and spilling up through consciousness,
rolling its April of yeses through groves
it would melt by noon, forcing
its thought through the quick, cold field: yes, this is it.
Now the nebulous form yields.
"What a hard hearted toothpick she was—refused
when all I asked for was her love—me, her own Dad.
All scared inside her wood . . . . My own fuse
was short, I knew that—Got mad,
broke up a few things . . . I ripped the legs off
a hard rock table once! I was Wrath,
but she, she was a little sliver of fear,
quicksilver in a toothpick. And she
stayed right with me—never left the room.
I was crying, my pants were falling off,
and that pisspot never said she loved me.
Hard as her mother.
I could have snapped her in two with a cough,
but if I did, she'd never say she loved me.
That's the all of it."
The All of It
for my husband
And on the way home from our picnic we—
lake-tired, dreamy, the way that day-long looking
at boat sails on blue water makes you see
something so satisfying it exhausts you—
let the blue drain unexpected pockets
of worry into simple watching. Three
huge cygnets almost the size of their parents
flanked two grown swans periodically
diving for fish as we left the hill
with our folded blanket. That's all.
Then we shuffled down the return trail,
and stopped to buy a cantaloupe, a ripe, lobed dome.