In the captured shadow shows of an idealized dream,
Lord Byron's words come to mind:
"She walks in beauty, like the night."
(Poem by Wendy Howe)
Fog drifts along the shore,
and traces of it -- resembling
a ruffled sleeve or skirt hem
skimming the tide
suggest a woman's presence.
Low in the sky, the moon looks
at a cottage once owned
by a sea captain
and the wind asks
rummaging through leaves
and bird feathers left
on its window ledge,
Mrs. Muir, is that you?
In a house, candles stutter ( grievously)
on each side of a woman's portrait
as if hesitant
to mention her name
when the room knows
she may be permanently gone
Bodiced in black velvet
with her face frozen
in seductive grace, she haunts the detective
who stares at her features.
He lights a cigarette and smoke mingles
with the scent of flowers on the mantle.
The vase reminds him
of an amphora -- but outside, it's raining
and pine breathes pungently
through the shutters. He hears the sound
of high heels on cobblestone
and reaches for the door. His voice soft --
Laura, is that you?
At a bistro table, a woman sits
inhaling the warmth of coffee
and buttered croissants. Signing a picture
of herself with a fountain pen., she smiles
at no one or everyone
passing by. Everything about her
seems ageless, luminous as the photo.
She doesn't consume
beverage or bread -- but continually waits
for someone to remember, to ask.
Her signature filigreed
like the rim of a cemetery gate --
And I whisper
Gene, is that you?
To know more about this poem, about Wendy Howe
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