"All changed, changed utterly:A terrible beauty is born..." ~W. B. Yeats
I was born
in the black and white,
a changed place still living what had been,
a winter child in a fossil's spring of
sun and shadow, war's unmercied clarity
and the trampled mud of peace,
its empty whiskey bottles
and gardens of shaded violets, deep
black soil, black thunderclouds,
white winter sky, blackened medals,
white gauze veils packed away
in crackled trunks.
Now I live my last in a red dirt country
where the heat-song of September changing
dips the fading wheat in ginger honey. Wind-weary
trees lace still-green leaves thru the soft
reaching fingers of clouds, holding tight
before their scarlet fall.
Earth is whispering her love words
in the rustle of sundried grass
and blackberries tumbling over with
thickets of banquets in seedy puzzles.
When I turn to face the setting citrine sun
it's you I call to the open door
to sit beside me in the shortening days
drunk with bees and crow-call,
rich with the gatherings of every flower.
Won't you come, beloved,
before January rimes the windows
with its deep blue loss.
Come to the place
where you can't be forgotten.
Bring your cinnamon september skin
and your wild silver-grass hair to these ruins,
and your campfire eyes,
alight in the night of dreams so far
beyond the black and white.
Lace your fingers with mine
as trees do with the sky,
separate and one
where the fire of what was
in the hope of what may never be
is the only light left
before the scarlet fall.
Posted for earthweal's
With thanks to Brendan for the poetry of W.S Merwin and others which inspired this.
Images: My mother with myself at 2 months of age, Evanston, Illinois March 7th, 1949
House North of Nash, Oklahoma, 2022 photo © Terry Wassan via internet Fair Use