When Strangers Ask

DSCN7056

 

She’s more than a morning coffee

drinker, more than her function as

office confidante, more yet than

the colour of her eyes or skin.

.

Birth stones and birth order and birth

marks are but petals to her rose,

characteristics folded deep,

convoluted lines and colours

which add or detract from beauty.

.

Shoe size and predisposition

to diabetes, scars hammered

in where wobbly knees met gravel,

violin lessons on rainy

afternoons, the desire to dance –

ruffled layers all, a goldfinch

singing from hidden willow perch.

 .

I see her there, can count petals,

classify by botanical

name – yet, in calculating sums,

have I arrived at her spirit?

.

Do I know where she goes at night

when skeletal remains escape

closeted fears, or of whom she

dreams when her conversation flags,

eyes traversing galaxies hung

somewhere behind my left shoulder?

.

Fingers cannot touch the places

she’s been, nor trace the subtle curves

where geological process

has altered her surface features.

.

I see her there, can count petals,

compare tints to a hardware store

strip, watch as they shift before

sun and shadow – and when strangers

ask if I know her, I say no.

 

Advertisements