for Gene, turning 75
Bring me all the synonyms for husband but don’t
expect me to find the one I need. It’s buried
in a medieval story I once read about Bede,
the monk who fell asleep and dreamed a sparrow
flew in a window facing east, swooped across
the room, and out a window west. Glide and gone,
the Irish poet put it, calling the little space
between dawn and stardust our brief home.
Home—the private journal where we learn who
we are by recording who we love. Home—
where we are cozy breathing silence, and where,
growing old, we grow easier to see through.
—from Rattle #18, Winter 2002
Tribute to Teachers
Judith Tate O’Brien: “I am a retired teacher and psychotherapist, who married widower with five daughters, and lived to tell about it. I find that humor helps me cope with a stroke, which left me wheel-chaired. I read and/or write poetry every day partly because I can do it sitting, mostly because I love to.”