Sunday, November 27, 2016

It Was What We Wanted To Learn

it was what we wanted to learn,
not only to believe
that one could come to the edge of town

after much suffering
at dawn and live under the shower of gold
or that every word you uttered would

become a pearl
and alternately, a diamond
so that speaking could be only jeweled.

and speaking would be only jeweled
because virtue grew
green leaves in the wintertime

under deep snows
and that is where
we wanted to go

where the spearmint of the air
was truly what we were
capable of breathing

I believed this
I would read this
though I was mocked for it

long summer afternoons
and learn the madrigals by heart,
the Gospels,

and believe in Art
yes, for its own sake

taking up the cause of Poetry
floating above the common world
filled to the brim as it was with bullies

and with ostentation.
so that words became my nation
and beauty spilled from the stiles

of the heavenlies,
from the pitchers of music.
as though it were cream.

mary angela douglas 28 november 2016