Lois Roma-Deeley offers an enigmatic look at a husband and a wife who have lived lives “no one thought practical.”
From this distance, my husband seems so small.
Like water over mill wheels, he moves
Through dreams in one direction. If I call
To him from this great height: we
Had a life no one thought practical,
Will he look up and will he answer me?
Love and work will kill him. I’ve seen his eyes
Too late. But what if there were better lives,
Some way we always think that it should be? Our days
Filled with a furious constancy,
Rise through the rain. We are not what we became.
I have looked into the palm of his hand
Cupped under the well-pump and don’t know why
He doesn’t scream out loud. The farmer
And his wife–Tom and Jane–two marks
Over one grave. Now he sees my face
In the light on a pool of standing water…
From a whisper of dark,
Honeysuckle in the meadowland,
I breathe out the last of my heart–
We have lived as if this is commonplace.
(first published on BestPoem.com)
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