Why did you have to answer when they asked?
Why did you have to tell them what you saw
With deep gray eyes?
Why could you not have hidden from them, masked
And cloaked, or closed lids, lips, to self’s deep law
And told them lies?
They hated you for what you saw and said.
They killed you slowly living, kill you dead.
Each father dies.
Writes on water.
I am not she. I am dryadic power.
I am the proudest humble flower
Breathing in her umbrous bower.
Must I smell the slaughter?
Must I feel forlorn?
Must I cry if Julia cries?
If she mourns must I mourn?
And do I see you with her sight?
With the child’s wide eyes of blue
She looks at you.
She contemplates your view.
Four children glowed in those gray eyes.
One Margaret gleamed in these gray eyes.
A joke, a bit of wit, a pun,
In those gray eyes was sparkling fun.
The speech, O workers now unite,
In these gray eyes was blaze of fight.
Shakespeare, Pope, in those gray eyes
Was satisfaction and delight.
Can she forget the vision that she heard
When first she could distinguish word from word
And see through speech
Development from age to age,
Progression made from stage to stage,
From primal shore to final beach,
Rest after rage,
The garden growing on the battlefield,
The dance of all, the passing of the prize
From each to each,
From sage to sage?
Thus she interpreted the page,
Read the historiation of the shield.
Later was the tale told otherwise?
At the Last Judgment I will not have to blush.
Suddenly, unexpected, in a rush,
Again your voice is in her ear,
In utterance. I will not need to fear.
I will not want to groan.
I will not wait there trembling for the hush
Of those who wait to hear.
On earth already all my sins are known.
You spoke, and she remembers, smiles, and sighs.
I hope, pray, prophesy, hypothesize.
If they leave the cage
And if they reach . . .
May secrets leap from the ice and reach our summer.
Slipping from the sickle or the hammer,
Shivers from the east a rosy shimmer.
May files and files surge, stream across the skies.
See the sun rise.
I see, I say,
You will again be born
In this world so worn,
Even on this dim earth,
In this radiant birth,
The recognition of your truth, your worth.
Too dark a night,
A noon too light,
After the wilting, beyond the thorn,
Shy or bold,
Clad in velvet red or silken white,
Lavender satin, woven cloth of gold,
Veily cambric or ribbony lawn
Intimating a pink of dawn,
Subtle as poets’ poetry or bright
As your orations to the multitude,
In fairest, fiercest, dulcitude,
Blossom upon new blossom blooms on the rose.