We sat together at one summer’ s end,
That beautiful mild woman, your close friend,
And you and I, and talked of poetry.
I said, ‘A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’ s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
Better go down upon your marrow-bones
And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years....
I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper....
When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me....
I am food on the prisoner's plate....
I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills....
I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden....
I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge....
I might as well begin by saying how much I like the title.
It gets me right away because I’ m in a workshop now
so immediately the poem has my attention,
like the Ancient Mariner grabbing me by the sleeve.
Behind the wedding couple, a mirror harbourstheir reception.
Outside, from the verandah, the harbour mirrors
of city from sky, hills snug with houses
and a glass of water standing on the railing,
half empty or half full. In the failing
brightening buildings counterpoint the darkness,
down inside the glass, and the newly-weds,
seen from outside
joining hand to hand for the wedding reel,
glide under its meniscus, head over heels.