I love poetry. I really do. I love poetry the way Mopsy loved flowers.
I revere the poets who, wielding few words, punch me square in the gut. There are poems that I’ve read hundreds, if not thousands, of times. The words, the phrasing, the thoughts and emotions weave themselves into my neural network and…change me.
I turn to poetry for wisdom and solace. I return to my favorite poems to feel comforted...to find myself again. To relive my life, at times.
This evening, I felt the need to return, once again, to this poem:Where You Go When She SleepsBy T. R. Hummer
What is it when a woman sleeps, her head bright
In your lap, in your hands, her breath easy now as though it had never been
Anything else, and you know she is dreaming, her eyelids
Jerk, but she is not troubled, it is a dream
That does not include you, but you are not troubled either,
It is too good to hold her while she sleeps, her hair falling
Richly on your hands, shining like metal, a color
That when you think of it you cannot name, as though it has just
Come into existence, dragging you into the world in the wake
Of its creation, out of whatever vacuum you were in before,
And you are like the boy you heard of once who fell
Into a silo full of oats, the silo emptying from below, oats
At the top swirling in a gold whirlpool, a bright eddy of grain, the boy,
You imagine, leaning over the edge to see it, the noon sun breaking
Into the center of the circle he watches, hot on his back, burning
And he forgets his father’s warning, stands on the edge, looks down,
The grain spinning, dizzy, and when he falls his arms go out, too thin
For wings, and he hears his father’s cry somewhere, but is gone
Already, down in the gold sea, spun deep in the heart of the silo,
And when they find him, his mouth, his throat, his lungs
Full of the gold that took him, he lies still, not seeing the world
Through his body but through the deep rush of the grain
Where he has gone and can never come back, though they drag him
Out, his father’s tears bright on both their faces, the farmhands
Standing by blank and amazed – you touch that unnamable
Color in her hair and you are gone into what is not fear or joy
But a whirling of sunlight and water and air full of shining dust
That takes you, a dream that is not of you but will let you
Into itself if you love enough, and will not, will never let you go.
* * *
I am that man. I am that boy. I’ve lived this poem.
* * *
(I hope to live it again)