For Anna Mark
My poems feel overdressed
when I read your poetry. [i]
I love their nakedness—
or, as modesty would have it,
I love the bathing suits they wear—
worn fully without clinging.
Yes, my clothing does cling—
like everything else—
too much these days.
Of course, one’s clinging to life
is the source and model of all clinging—
and to the life of your children,
the others , whose very otherness
can make it more precious and still—
How this poem clings to its loved ones,
holds then tight, then forgives them
enough to let them swim out
a little further and still further…
It could be a model for the world.
I wish I could swim with them too,
even when your feet touch other shores.
[i] I am talking about Anna Mark’s poem The Lake, which you need a password to access. I will reprint it here with Anna’s permission.
. She wears the deep water —
….. the clear dress soaks
……her shoulder length hair.
If only my words, if only my love,
were that sweet water,
that ancient lake you jump into wholly,
playful and free,
living water to your sense of joy, innocence and trust,
darkness beyond the depths of our sight,
beyond reach yet willing to be known,
worn fully without clinging,
rapture without entering too deeply, too soon,
as explored mystery captivating awe —
fear and wonder;
a mother’s caress reflecting light,
eroding the places that harden,
where you’d thrive with me,
your strong root in me for when you shed me,
when your feet touch shores,
when you leave,
when it’s time for you to go,
when you emerge —
.for my daughters