A Poem by Sandra Kohler

Sandra Kohler

Yesterday I was hungry all day, a hunger I denied satisfaction.
Today I can imagine satiety. What I want to imagine is a garden,
the garden of my future, imagine it into existence. Sunlight
flickers on the wicker basket in the hall where trembling leaves
are reflected from the kitchen window. Three orchids blossom
in the dining room. All have bloomed and kept blooming, all
are almost finished blooming. For some this is the first day of
a new year, ancient and predicted. For others, a recurring burden
to lift. In dream I read the leaves of trees as poems that a man
I’ve just met has written. His words speak to me with the coral
authority of autumn. Their accents are accounts of my comings
and goings, unexpected flashes of light and sight on a road I
travel blindly. Who this poet is is a fiction, a self, a truth I
hadn’t known I knew. Each fall there are days like this, with
not one cloud in a sky bluer than anywhere. No mother can
forecast them, no father protect against them, bar them like
unwelcome suitors from reaching his daughters. Equinoctal
days. The freshness of autumn dew, the keen edge of the
sharpened air. The sun’s brilliance. Still night prevails in
them: evening in day, a predominance of shadowed hours.
The sudden stillness of leaves, their whatness: those poems.

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