Ma Belle Mané
(Poem by Wendy Howe )

Tell me my Darling Aunt, Ma Belle Mané
do you stand on the terrace of my youth
where mother's chair seats the fragrance
of bay trees and roses, where a white cat
sleeps on the sun-baked stone at noon?

Do you wait there for me
to finish weeping, to pull a jeweled pin
from your hair and tune the wind
with a sweet hum, a nursery song
you sang to me long ago?

If you do, I thank you for those hours
of love and beauty your eyes expressed,
your voice whispered softening the splinters
along my window frame,  leading me
to the lines of Colette.

Like her, I have grown trembling
on the cactus thorn, on the sparrow's quill
into womanhood. I have grown sensitive
by these things and the throng of dreams
that shadowed your mind,  butterfly wings
I could never touch but still feel breathing
among these brush strokes, these faces, these flowers
that awaken to life on canvas, my mirror  reflecting
all I have  learned from you
and the southern breeze that casts its breath
in the hillside vineyards of Gascogne.

© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.

To know more  about this poem,   about Wendy Howe

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