Poetry by Michael R Burch
REMEMBERING NOT TO CALL (A villanelle permitting mourning, for my mother, Christine Ena Burch) The hardest thing of all, after telling her everything, is remembering not to call. Now the phone hanging on the wall will never announce her ring: the hardest thing of all for children, however tall. And the hardest thing this spring will be remembering not to call the one who was everything. That the songbirds will nevermore sing is the hardest thing of all for those who once listened, in thrall, and welcomed the message they bring, since they won’t remember to call. And the hardest thing this fall will be a number with no one to ring. No, the hardest thing of all is remembering not to call. LOVE UNFOLDED LIKE A FLOWER Love unfolded like a flower; Pale petals pinked and blushed to see the sky. I came to know you and to trust you in moments lost to springtime slipping by. Then love burst outward, leaping skyward, and untamed blossoms danced against the wind. All I wanted was to hold you; though passion tempted once, we never sinned. Now love's gay petals fade and wither, and winter beckons, whispering a lie. We were friends, but friendships end . . . yes, friendships end and even roses die. MELTING (for Beth) Entirely, as spring consumes the snow, the thought of you consumes me: I am found in rivulets, dissolved to what I know of former winters’ passions. Underground, perhaps one slender icicle remains of what I was before, in some dark cave— a stalactite, long calcified, now drains to sodden pools whose milky liquid laves the colder rock, thus washing something clean that never saw the light, that never knew the crust could break above, that light could stream: so luminous, so bright, so beautiful . . . I lie revealed, and so I stand transformed, and all because you smiled on me, and warmed.
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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