You gave me another collection of Victorian poetry this year,

Even though you know I prefer Collins and Neruda.

But it's a beautiful book, I appreciate your taste.

It will sit with the other pretty volumes on my shelves,

Tempered by the torn-up paperbacks and the hardbacks

That I couldn't wait to get,

My defeated Spanish dictionary and the piles of books to be

Read this year that I refuse to look at till I have to.

Maybe, someday, your memories will come streaming out of

All these books of yours that now reside with me,

Like so much old film, surrounding me and raising me to the stars.

Maybe, I'll be able to reach out of the chains

And tamper a little,

Muddle the time when you broke your leg and obliterate

The night when he just walked away,

Bring into greater clarity the days we danced

In the meadows under the mountains,

With flowers woven into our hair and

Walden bumping in our pockets.

Thoreau, he went everywhere. And now he sits

On the shelf next to Dickinson and dystopian fiction,

The asters born in those high meadows

Pressed between the pages,

The echoes of our laughter still leeching

From the faded and crumpled blue petals that

Still yearn for the light of a

High-mountain sun.