When You Whispered to Me in Chalkdust (from A Widow's Wreath)

When a way is no longer placed before me
and doors have been closed
upon my shaved soul
I cling to a tradition of single issues
I never quite got the knack of.

For hours I have been listening to memories
in my backyard, waiting
as the golden cellophane of autumn takes over
for a meaning that is not yet available
to my concerns.

You color everything.

It must have been after your departure
I began to believe you whispered to me
in chalkdust
in a language I never fully understood
on blackboards against the silence of myself.

What I want to tell you is how my time now
moves from moment to moment,
like a metronome inside my throat, tightening
to where all the notes inside my mind
strike music in my fingertips, making me want to move
beyond the symphonies I was part of
and helped compose.

Seeking my own space and time
I stay within the deep shade of the gazebo
Like a sunburned woman without ointment
Who reads to herself from the scriptures
And stays hopeful
even after the damage is done.