Being There

I can recall my son’s sleepy hair

soft from his blanket in early mornings

and  warm where I press my hand

as he twitches lightly  in a dream –

but I was there. I was there.


Only Two Seasons

The red Japanese maple outside my window

dropped all its leaves and accepted winter.

Inside, its bonsai brethren is holding on

to what we call spring, winter, summer.

It knows two seasons – awake and asleep.


Might I but moor – Tonight – With Thee

Fast and flimsy sex and still not

able to sleep, but she has fallen

under the covers to the other world.

I walk in the cold, dark hallway

where every step I take echoes twice.


I was reading about Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who prepared the first edition of Emily Dickinson’s poems in 1890. He wrote to his co-editor: “One poem only I dread a little to print – that wonder ‘Wild Nights,’ – lest the malignant read into it more than that virgin recluse ever dreamed of putting there. . . . Yet what a loss to omit it! Indeed it is not to be omitted.”

That comment made me look at the poem again and think Emily – that virgin recluse – fantasizing in her room one night when she couldn’t sleep.

Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the Winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor –
Tonight – With Thee!