Literary Conversation: Poetry Exchange with My Sister
The following literary attempt–a poem (“Found”)– is my response to my sister Leah’s “Of Heroes and Underwear”. Though I wrote it about seven years ago (seven is such a magical number), I’m still playing with the ending; it is a today poem for me. What is it about endings? Why are they so evasive? Anyway. Seven years ago, my youngest (of five) was still a nursing babe, and my husband was traveling for work (a lot; roughly 70% of his–and my–living, breathing hours). We lived in the country on more than three and a half acres; upon which I (dreaming big) had planted a small field of lavender and an even smaller orchard; the weeds were constantly encroaching. My dreams were fading. But the loneliest times were the bedtime ones…tucking my kids and baby and myself in. I felt…well, beyond lonely. Cold. Unseen, unknown, anonymous.
And sometimes, unimportant.
Such moments are a great time to make literary attempts. I highly recommend it.
The idea of needing to be seen is one common thread between this poem and Leah’s…
Both Superman and the mender of his tights need to be seen (your nemesis will not be me—can you see me, man of steel?). Her dreams are as epic as his heroics–the possibility of blindness being their communal kryptonite.
Most of us would agree that our greatest need is to love and be loved. I believe that love is only as authentic as our perception of each other—we love as clearly and deeply as we see. And I think that seeing truthfully is rare enough that it qualifies as a miracle, a particularly beautiful one. No matter how earnestly I share myself, I cannot make someone else see me without their choosing to. And…though I may sincerely wish to see another clearly, I am (more often than not) seeing “through a glass darkly”; the distortion probability is vast.
But…I do believe in miracles, especially the miracles of sight, and love.
So. My contribution to the ongoing literary conversation with my sister:
Since I’m a fortress with steep sides
And cannot–because of some unspoken law–
Invite you in (on any given day),
And since my secret windows
catch the gleam of clever moons
(small chance you have an eye
for ancient runes),
And no dove delivered pleas for hope
Or help wing earnest from
My shadowed, quiet eaves,
Nor bottled parchment leaves
Float silent from my stronghold’s sills,
I am amazed to find you resting here within these walls.
Luxuriant amongst my tapestries and quilts
Lap laden with my treasury of books
And nestled warm and open in your hand,
the rapturous heartbeat of my hidden, cloistered land.
(by Lynaea Brand)