Friday, October 31, 2008

Lone Jellyfish

Lone Jellyfish
How Ethel Speaks to Gerald of the Transatlantic

When the sun is a small lone jellyfish in the vast sea of sky,
it barely seems to move. It drifts with the slow westward tide
in narrow increments. The day stretches, spacious and almost endless.
But on these chill November mornings, when I want to take my tea
in a spot of sun, I realize, finally, how the sun races across the yard,
taking with it the days, the weeks, my dwindling memory, my mind
and my life. Every day I forget something new. Soon, Gerald, I'll forget
your name and the day we met, standing so innocently, randomly
and fortuitously in the mist at Niagara, watching the gulls fly
through the shimmering rainbows and the rime frost sparkle
on every twig and blade of grass. Remember how our shoulders
accidentally touched and we turned to one another and our eyes
locked? Already the cold shadow creeps over my right shoulder.
Darkness always gobbles me from the right, as I shuffle my chair
to the left. It would be different, below the equator, wouldn't? Tell me
I haven't forgotten this; tell me you remember the electricity,
the shock when our hands first touched. I know I forget things,
but I mustn't forget our love. Gerald, do you love me still? Look,
already, I have moved my chair all the way across the yard.
I will have to sit in the frozen flowers next and then what?
I'm frightened honey. Come hold my hand.

Mary Stebbins Taitt

New poem from the Geraldine MS

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