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