Was There a Poem?
In her dark hands that milked cows and made lace,
hands that fixed tractors and wiped tears?
A poem in the dark hands
that built houses and kept them, that worked the earth
and folded to a heaven she was sure of?
Hands that hammered out justice and
handed out calloused caresses,
those hands that labored at the piano,
but changed flat tires with ease?
Was there a song in her dark eyes
that laughed easy, but cried hard;
eyes that saw good wherever it hid?
Eyes that struggled in darkness
to read the verses and read them again
until she saw light in the words?
A song in the dark eyes that bid me welcome,
the colorless eyes that I bid goodbye?
Was there a portrait in her dark face?
- Ralph Murre
(appeared in Crude Red Boat, from Cross+Roads Press)