Girl, It's a Grave Thing

 

 

Girl, it’s a grave thing to look at you with ageing eyes —

you with your leafy shoulders dappled in sun, tangy like an

orchard, and your hair adrift on the light shifting

behind the swell of your breast and the down

and dew on your arms, and the shy breeze

giddy with your apple scent.

 

Once I’d have been giddy too:

wordless — or worse, too full of words —

and you’d have smiled at me with a different kind of smile,

full of what if, and our eyes might have met with a

yes, or at least a maybe,

but either way our eyes would have said

what’s next

instead of just hello.

 

It’s a grave thing to look at the light in your hair

and meet your weightless smile with my own smile

and hope simply that your arms will be filled one day

with as much love as the world can give.

 

January 3, 1993

Revised January 27, 2017