By Michael R Burch
She Gathered Lilacs (for Beth) She gathered lilacs and arrayed them in her hair; tonight, she taught the wind to be free. She kept her secrets in a silver locket; her companions were starlight and mystery. She danced all night to the beat of her heart; with her tears she imbued the sea. She hid her despair in a crystal jar, and never revealed it to me. She kept her distance as though it were armour; gauntlet thorns guard her heart like the rose. Love!—awaken, awaken to see what you’ve taken is still less than the due my heart owes! Goddess (for Kevin N. Roberts) “What will you conceive in me?”— I asked her. But she only smiled. “Naked, I bore your child when the wolf wind howled, when the cold moon scowled . . . naked, and gladly.” “What will become of me?”— I asked her, as she absently stroked my hand. Centuries later, I understand: she whispered —“I Am.”
Michael R. Burch’s poems have been published by hundreds of literary journals, taught in high schools and colleges, translated into fourteen languages, incorporated into three plays and two operas, and set to music by seventeen composers.
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