Thanks, Robert Frost

Inspired by a poem of the same name by David Ray.

Thanks, Robert Frost, for the cabin
in Ripton, and the picnic you hosted
one summer day fifteen years ago,
where a man who warmed my hands
was still a boy,
though only one of us could see that then.
He made me an honest woman
who would wax and wane like a restless moon.

We made love and made plans
and launched into each other’s blueprints
like hungry architects, with room for sun
and sand and poetry and babies
and then, as Robert Hass wrote,
inside that intricate dance
of need and habit and routine
we became a first-person plural pushing
each other from planes, endlessly
scheming and dreaming of more flight.

Thanks for your road not taken
and the Vermont winters, and the driveways
he shoveled while I hovered over
the French Press and wrote the poetry
of our days, loving the rhythm–
and wondering why I was always missing
a beat, some deeper peace, the ability to accept
that the road not taken isn’t always obvious.

Thanks, too, for the seeds we planted
that grew in fields whose openness would beckon
so irresistibly I’d have to follow,
and geese in the early weeks of fall
making sky shapes that steered us towards
the right poems, the right landing places, the right
livelihoods, a boy cowering–where is my father?
a girl hiding–where is my power?

Also, for the spidery spiral we continue to travel
and weave,
learning to listen and follow and root
down on frozen earth, or a tiny pile of ashes
that was once a wild garden, or a squelch of mud
or sand so hot it sets our feet on fire dancing.

Robert Frost, thanks for the call I didn’t know you made
to the cabin where the life I made began.
I will find a way, with some poem, someday–
maybe this is the one–
to repay you.

3 thoughts on “Thanks, Robert Frost

  1. lemead says:

    Oh, God, Jena, again… the spidery spiral of our lives. Waxing and waning like a restless moon. Over and over again you offer me images I can’t get out of my head, full of primal power and beauty. Thank you. xo

    Like

      • krforand says:

        Knowing you and G, and having witnessed a glimpse of your life together from across a driveway, in what now seems a lifetime ago, I found this poem so lovely and so utterly heartbreaking.

        A quote–the last two lines of a Gwendolyn Brooks poem “The Second Sermon of the Warpland”–that made me think of you–

        “Conduct your blooming in the noise and whip of the
        whilrlwind.”

        Love to you.

        Like

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