Bridge Over the Nosterkill
The rippling waters of the stream
are like a thought turning over and over,
slipping out of grasp.
The sun is winking behind the white pine
as I lie on the bridge,
feeling its arch under my back,
watching the pattern of green leaves
against blue sky, a faint scrim of cloud,
and one soaring red-tailed hawk.
Out of the corner of my eye
I see you standing on the bridge,
singing the way you only
sing to yourself
when you are happy.
You don’t like to be noticed
so I listen without seeming to.
May you go on singing
in my heart forever.
Late Summer, Block Island
The air gray, still, and parched.
The rain, when it comes, is a sprinkle
dripping silently on the ground.
The mourning dove’s call is backdrop
to the sea’s suck and ripple
that speaks of longing
and sadness, buried hopes
like lost wrecks off rocky shores.
From the marshes comes the trilling
of red-winged blackbirds, in the thicket
the cardinal’s chirp, the meadow lark’s whistle,
chatter of a hawk chased by crows.
In the afternoon, sunlight behind
banked clouds glints off a sea
as pale as isinglass, reflecting back
my memories as I write,
until the day when words will be
all that are left of me,
words and images
and other people’s memories.
Bury my body deep in the earth,
but may my soul roam free
in the shadows under the trees,
in the dancing hearts of flowers,
the setting sun and the rising moon,
the barred clouds and winds that move them,
the waters where I love to swim,
beloved haunts of my essential solitude.
Anne Whitehouse’s poetry collections include Blessings and Curses, The Refrain, Meteor Shower, and, most recently, Outside from the Inside (Dos Madres Press, 2020). Ethel Zine and Micro Press published Surrealist Muse, her poem about Leonora Carrington, last year, and, recently, her poem, Escaping Lee Miller, as hand-stitched chapbooks. She is also the author of a novel, Fall Love, and has been publishing essays about Edgar Allan Poe.