April 19, 2013

Tom Hansen

NIGHT SIGH

At night in bed I hear it out there:
a sound like wind sneaking around,
trying to snake its way in
around shaky windows or under doors
or wherever paint has gone to pieces
slowly losing its grip,
straining to hold the house together
in spite of those varicose
cracks that crawl
back and forth across the walls
and wander from ceiling to floor and back
in search of the meaning of life.

But when I roll over, I hear something other.
A sleeper breathing. She rises. She falls.
Wherever she goes, footprints follow:
scars that glimmer and heal,
all along the moon path
carved on still water.

from Rattle #21, Summer 2004

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Tom Hansen: “I find myself often returning to autumnal love poems: It is late afternoon or night, the lovers have weathered the years and bear (somewhere inside) their respective scars and have few illusions left; by the time it ends, the poem manages to affirm love, but in a way that emphasizes shadow as much as light. My wife, of course, isn’t nearly as fond of those noiry poems as I am. That’s OK. My dog listens intently, with a soulful look in his eyes, whenever I read them to him.”