The Rooms of Other Women Poets
I wonder about you: whether the blue abrasions
of daylight, falling as dusk across your page,
make you reach for the lamp. I sometimes think
I see that gesture inthe way you use language.
And whether you think, as I do, that wild flowers
dried and fired on the ironstone rim of
the saucer underneath your cup, are a sign of
a savage, old calligraphy: you will not have it.
The chair you use, for instance, may be cane
soaked and curled in spirals, painted white
and eloquent, or iron mesh and the table
a horizon of its own on plain, deal trestles,
bearing up unmarked, steel-cut foolscap,
a whole quire of it; when you leave I know
you look at them and you love their air of
unaggressive silence as you close the door.
The early summer, its covenant, its grace,
is everywhere: even shadows have leaves.
Somewhere you are writing or have written in
a room you came to as I come to this
room with honeyed corners, the interior sunless,
the windows shut but clear so I can see
the bay windbreak, the laburnum hang fire, feel
the ache of things ending in the jasmine darkening early.