POEMS IN MEMORY OF MY PARENTS' MARRIAGE (The lace-maker grieves)
My parents were not married long: 9 years.
It seemed an eternity to him, the doctor.
A lacemaker, I was a small child who'd had polio at age 12
Overstretched:like a little Yogalini could bend:
with nail and string
I made eyelet, small whorls against sky.
I got my father's drift:
Pain when his job was precision
his heart, passion.
I pretzeled my foot to my chin.
Eyed my parents; marriage flawing like ice flows on the
Little Coventry a teal December morning.
Vermeer's shadows and square were geometry mastering pain.
I remember both mother and father adored the Seventeenth Century Dutch Masters.
Blue-tendoned I rose to see day echoing like a song of the dead robin:
his crystalline ghost mirrored in song, after the guillotine of the mower decapitated him.
Think of the Quince-seller on a dark morning
Flemish lace clouds
charred earth's charcoals underneath.
His ware copper against December:color shared with pomegranates, persimmon, Hebrew orange shawls
while December spilled under silled sepia liek chestnuts, coffins.
He rounded in mornings. Vital signs are high then
low in evening.
Trip wires ran over doorways in our Manhattan apartment.
Not Exeter, no 13th century cathedral.
Chard was what to eat for blood iron when lungs, milky spectral organs float like angels on the ceiling of sistine
or bark against shipwreck of ribs.
the precision alone of lacemacing & medicine
--string & nail--or scalpel & mercy: exactutyde combined with passion.