After Tornado Warnings
Rain, banshee winds, stuttering lightening
slashed the sky all night. An hour ago,
all the drama stopped. Disasters slunk home
not having broken a single window.
When I went to take out the trash just now,
the sky was smooth and rich as an altar cloth,
the air warm, the starts high, bright, vivid
and a full moon stood above my building
white and strong as your hair, my love,
solid as your word, broad and lovely as your back.
And I stood on my steps looking up, wondering
that after all the lashing, high winds, wails of my decades
and after, really, accomplishing so little,
I was given you.
All or None
— for Carolyn Pool
Integrity was never so buoyant
the hand of giving—and of fairness—
never so light, so angled in a joyful
invitation to dance
as with you,
It wasn’t only in the swirled yellows, greens,
and ochres of your paintings—the African heat
and mysteries of your missionary childhood
that you gave your all, drenched
everyone in your vision.
It was all or nothing with you
in your cooking, your art classes, even
in your day job (the writers you edited
felt they’d been knighted), just as