Inside December

(Poem by Wendy Howe )

As rain washes the terrace,
I share morning with street lamps
still burning past daybreak, a book
of pressed leaves and some tea.

Dried foliage
resides between pages that tell
of a girl who sold matches
and lit three of them
to keep warm on the streets
of a frozen city..

She struck each one
against a wall and marveled
at how the flames ignited
visions of food, family and heat,
dreams that sustained her -- only seconds
against Winter's chill..

I thought about her story
when walking the park.
and searching for inspiration.

flared at my feet, swatches of firelight
wanting to spark more than color,
some glint of thought as my hand
picked up the yellow one first.

Golden grass loaned its fringe
to a sea cliff where I sat high
and impressionable before the horizon, a girl
who decided then
she wanted to become an artist.

A second leaf caught my attention
with its red warning of change. I reached out
and remembered my son's sail boat
floating in the stone fountain,

He was twelve on the verge
of turning thirteen, Soon he would steer
his time more toward Rugby
and other sports, the linen mast
a wing and the rope - a long root
stretching toward me and branches
bent low as if trying to grasp
the expelled wishes of childhood..

and there was a third leaf, brown
like the leather suit cases
that now sit half unpacked
in this new apartment facing
a queen's historic quarters
at Versailles.

© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.

To know more  about this poem,   about Wendy Howe

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© 2011,

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I have moved to the outskirts of town
and toward middle age, a blond woman
thinking I should paint
the rain as Marie Antoinette,
clad in her silver gown
and bringing a basket of flowers,
from her Petit Trianon, her Spring,

to this cold skyline
and my balcony,
saying ---
Your youth is still there,
inside your beautiful head,
and it always will be, it always will be.

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