Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Touch Me, Stanley Kunitz

"Summer is late, my heart."
Words plucked out of the air 
some forty years ago 
when I was wild with love 
and torn almost in two 
scatter like leaves this night 
of whistling wind and rain. 
It is my heart that’s late, 
it is my song that’s flown. 
Outdoors all afternoon 
under a gunmetal sky 
staking my garden down, 
I kneeled to the crickets trilling 
underfoot as if about 
to burst from their crusty shells; 
and like a child again 
marveled to hear so clear 
and brave a music pour 
from such a small machine. 
What makes the engine go? 
Desire, desire, desire. 
The longing for the dance 
stirs in the buried life. 
One season only, 
and it’s done.
So let the battered old willow 
thrash against the windowpanes 
and the house timbers creak. 
Darling, do you remember 
the man you married? Touch me, 
remind me who I am.

My Spirit Tried to Leave Me, 1994, John Dugdale