Monday, April 9, 2007

Painting a Promise

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is one of my favorite poems written by one of my favorite poets, Luci Shaw. This one is found in her book, Polishing the Petoskey Stone.

How to paint a promise in January
for Lauren

Here in my winter breakfast room,
the colors of rainbows are
reduced to eight solid lozenges in a
white metal tray. A child’s brush
muddies them to gray in a
glass of water. Even the light breaks down
as it pushes through the rain-streaked
windows and polishes the wooden table
Green leaves always turn
brown. Summer died into the dark days
a long time ago; it is hard even to
remember what it was like, stalled
as I am in this narrow slot of time
and daylight.
Until I look down again
and see, puddling along the paper,
under a painted orange sun
primitive as the first spoked wheel,
the ribbon of color flowing out of
my grand-daughter’s memory—a new
rainbow, arc-ing wet over strokes of grass
green enough to be true.

Luci Shaw


Denise said...

With any luck, if it all works out, Luci Shaw will be one of the professors in my MFA program, beginning in July. Wouldn't that be amazing?

You probably know this, but Luci was best friends with Madeleine L'Engle, whose books I used to haul from the juvenile room in the tiny storefront library of Farmland Indiana, to the adult section of the same library. My daughter is named for Madeleine. I'm eager to meet Luci.

All that's between me and Luci is a few months and a few thousand dollars of scholarships. Pray, please.

Linda said...

That is SO EXCITING! I knew that Luci and Madeleine were good friends; I have some books that they wrote together. And to think that you will actually get to study with her! Because I am thinking good thoughts and praying that the scholarship comes through for you, and I believe it will. And you know I will be asking for all kinds of details about studying with Luci!