09 April, 2010

One That's Stuck With Me

From a little paperback anthology of American women poets found on a dusty shelf in a second-hand bookshop years ago...this one has stuck with me.
The Poet's Wife Makes Him a Door So He Can Find the Way Home
by Nancy Willard

Nobody else makes doors like a poet's wife.

If she made a revolving door,
summer and winter would run like mice in a wheel.
If she made a door for the moon,
the dead would cross over alive.

Each door is a mirror.

So when the poet loses his way,
crossing the desert in search of his heart,
his wife hoists her lintels and straw on her back
and sets out, feeling his grief with her feet.

She calls up a door that shimmers like water.

She unfolds her palm trees and parrots.
And far away, his belly dredging the dunes,
the poet hears his heart spinning
straw into gold for the sun.

The palms bow. The parrots are calling his name.

He remembers the way home.

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