Let me memorize this—
The rain just beginning,
the light soft, too gray,
a gloaming at noon.
Flowers etched in light on the green lampshade,
fern leaves lit from within.
The pictures on the wall are crooked.
The seams of this quilt are crooked.
Above the large book, the crown of her head,
the quick lifting and furrowing,
the voice at once gravelly and high.
She is sitting on my feet.
Crooked quilt making a valley between
the big and little hills of our bent knees.
It’s all I have to bring today, she reads,
this, and my heart be—be—besides.
She, too, is forever expecting bees.
The fog’s little cat feet make her laugh.
And the touch of dreams is over all.
And the touch of dreams
She likes this so much she reads it twice,
each word softer, disappearing
behind her serious face.
is over all
I see how she’s drawing the words inside herself.
Filling herself up with fog and clover
and the dusk and the dark
and nobody and the livelong June.
Her small toes twitch
little cat feet
her eyes peer over the page.
We should have a poem house, she says.
Later she’ll write it: THE POWEM HAWS.
She’s six, she spells like Winnie the Pooh.
A powem haws with powems on the walls,
this one first—
It’s all I have to bring.
Later the touch of dreams.
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Our Week in Books: August 23-30