The Counterpane

The Counterpane
      These savages have an innate
      sense of delicacy, say what you will.
First light. First color.
Grandma’s quilt,
the one made from our old
cowboy and Indian pjs,
her house dresses, aprons.
I lay under generations
of genetic code this morning
with a strange brown arm
flung across my neck.
I smell her before I see her,
a family smell refreshed
by the wild truffle scent
of a young girl. I know
she came out of me
more intimate than any spouse
and yet she is unknown.
Pinned, claimed
by her small arm,
I have no claim on her.
She is a stranger, strange
as that summer solstice
I lay awake alone all night
picking at mystery,
resisting the urge to kneel,
when, just before day, a dent
in the quilt, a pushing down
at the foot of the bed,
a weight not waiting
for me to open up,
not needing to, as every
awe-stunned atom
made an O.
These are not mortal weddings.
They have no linear logic,
no witnesses.
Unless you, across the way,
have been keeping watch
through the window
all these years.
Sherry Robbins, from Or, the Whale, BlazeVOX [Books]
May the summer solstice bring visions

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