A few favorite poems by Maggie, with dates as best I know them–AF
THE SEVENTEENTH DAY OF MAY
Grow maples in me this grow-maple day;
I lie in the long chair and wait your coming.
Spin from branches heavy with fruit of leaves
My sudden seeds, my one-wings, turning, turning!
Leap in the wind that understands the life:
Land on on my leg and do not slide;
Catch in the ready furrows of my hair—I say
I have no pride.
For in me all the broad and murmuring branches
Wait but to hear it spoken.
The porch, the chair, the gutter will not take you.
But I am open.
Heads of life, stretched to the shape of flight,
Plunge to my upturned palm, and with good reason:
My earth, my rain, my sun, my shade will grow you.
Let your season bring me into season.
Pieces of wood placed carefully together
Made by maker’s thought to hold, to serve:
The old trees sing of their old weather
Inside a downright rise, around a curve.
Even the leaves applaud, the roots approve
Across the happy stretch of fortune’s boards
That brings them—-factual—-where, far remove,
We search the mystery each mark affords
And spin our stories.
Though we cannot see
Who sets the table, who sits in the chair,
Who touches drawer of desk: who turns the key?
Who tries a key?—-in fury?—-in despair?
The blood responds. The spirit, longing, tries
To find the parents’ pain, that child who cries.
LETTER TO MAGGIE’S BODY
Before I give you back to earth,
I want to thank you for the myriad doings
So well performed since my amazing birth.
Our plethora of billings and of cooings––
Even the death of love in sad discharge:
Whatever death, the natural or not,
Whatever love, the little or the large,
I thank you for.
Whatever time’s allot,
We bravely came and bravely go away
(Such is my hope). Your kindly breathing-space,
Inventing itself from infinitesimal clay,
Enables me to speak––and, oh––embrace!
Most faithful friend, if ever I have swerved,
Accept, at last, the praise you have deserved.