artwork: ralph murre
Was There a Poem ?
by Ralph Murre
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 good-bye?
Was there a portrait in her dark face?
- first published in Crude Red Boat (Cross + Roads Press)