Berkshire Library, August 23rd, 2016
This is incredible! Jessica read Mara’s poem (about the strangers in the elevator – see photo below) and she left a comment. I liked her comment so much, I challenged her to write a poem. Now this from Philadelphia, as I write in a library in Massachusetts, about the Inuits’ interconnected network across hundreds of miles. I am touched, in return, by Jessica’s poem.
The Bard and Her Muses
Bards appear in the most unlikely
of guises. This one is platinum blonde—
wears a hot pink jumper that I could never pull off.
Not now, anyhow. She is my savior from the sterility,
the soul gray death of this barren cubicle.
Surfing to a favorite blog, a drowning woman
struggling to catch a breath of the clear, cool air
of humanity, I see the photos, read the words,
inhale great gulps of life itself. I bob momentarily
above the undertow.
Every bard has her muse, and this one is doubly-blessed:
a courageous woman who tramples impersonal conventions,
asking strangers to share their hearts; a man with blossoms
fresh-plucked from the garden of his spirit, echoing
joyous, passionate pink in answering song.
A poem is a moment observed, magnified—that quickens
the pulse. Here is that moment; here, the refraction of elevator walls.
Somewhere in New York City, sweltering in the August heat,
three people choose connection over cool disinterest.
A triumph. They toss their pebble of benediction into the pond.
The ripples reach me as I wade through a Philadelphia office building
and the spray mists my eyes.