March 26, 2014, Waynesville NC
by Jean Valentine
In blue-green air & water God
you have come back for us,
to our fiberglass boat.
You have come back for us & I’m afraid.
(But you never left.)
Great sadness at harms.
But nothing that comes now, after,
can be like before.
Even when the icebergs are gone, and the millions of suns
have burnt themselves out of your arms,
your arms of burnt air,
you are with us
wherever we are then.
April 2, 2014, Waynesville, NC
Which came first—the euphoria or this poem?
Did the poem generate elation or did bliss enable me to see its exquisite beauty?
Either way, each new-eyed-me has read it over and over.
The harms in burnt arms, our fiberglass boat—you are with us eternally in hot, cold, sadness/hurt/fear, comfort, and rapture. But we forget.
Jean Valentine, I thank you for articulating the contents of both your heart and mine!
And this too is yoga.
*Poem published in the New York Times Style (!) Magazine 2/23/24 and found there last Friday 3/28/14.