Thursday, November 24, 2005

What I wrote for Peter


In the living room, light off each mirror
shivers, mirage-like, from the heat. It’s quiet,
cicadas and the road too distant to break the silence,
so quiet I’m holding my breath as I walk in.

I never was an intruder here before, in your home,
in your living room full of treasures, among your
keepsakes and assemblages, your 15 gilded mirrors.

The most tentative of thieves, so shy about taking
even from the small wooden bowl among your books. The tally:
five pennies, a carved bone button, two snail shells,
one olive-green agate shot with oxblood.

Touchstone. I pick it up, palm and pocket it, wonder
if it’s stealing, knowing you’ll not ever set it,
knowing you’d make it a gift if you were still alive.

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