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Unkown are the Hands

Here I have lilacs rescued from the hail

fresh coffee in my cup and thunder
in all its suddenness answering Coltrane’s

ascent. I know why the starlings gather
in the tops of cottonwoods at the end

of a frayed out day, why a river never
quiets in its descent from the mountains

why a field opens itself to a spilling sky—why
the dove mourns from the roof every morning.

Unknown are the hands we will hold on a new road
in a part of town we’ve never seen. Here

I have new books just arrived, a poem started,
the fresh bright sun just after a spring storm.

You ask me can I find a way from this life
into another and I, I cannot say. I know only

how this sorrow is also my joy—is the pleasure
is the way I choose to wonder how it will be

in a year or ten years’ time. Because never
will there be an answer arising on my tongue.

Because there are still thousands of sighs
waiting in my lungs. Because tears bide their time

as readily as the oak growing new rings.
Because I have nothing I know better among

all these things, than my unfastened heart.
Because there is not time nor a will to forget.

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