“Sir, she is mortal;
But by immortal providence she's mine…”
Since that first fall along the shoreline I've
called her my jewel all these years although
she often spoke with certainty of glass.
She's kept a garden journal, and today
was the latest frost of all we've ever known:
most of the autumn blossoms have survived-
I don't know how she does it and don't ask.
Some mysteries are best left unexplained,
like how one touch can fill my limbs with strength
as if we were, well, two and twenty, but
almost naive in love. Last night, against the cold
we slept in darkness, interlaced, her skin
warm against mine, as each night for years
and each night new: another pattern- spline
or herringbone, it is her second gift.
She sings, I write, we garden, sometimes dance
in interwoven movements, scarves and silk,
like pearls never lost. Mysterious
this morning by the lower pond, I held
a sheet of sudden ice, thin as a pane
and nearly clear, but looking close, I saw
small bits of air encased, and looking through
saw then her face in sunlight- jeweled silk
around her shoulders- looking through at me.