Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In a Dream

You see her standing
under a bare tree, red hair
tied in a kerchief, raking
leaves into a basket.  Clouds
rest atop branches,
fading into white.
But look! in the pocket
of her flowered smock
is a letter she's addressed
to you, her secret pal.


Note: What is it about this poem? It's about as deep as a pile of leaves, but maybe that's why I kind of, sort of like it. I wrote it some 20 odd years ago--bizarre years, to be precise--after receiving an anonymous greeting card in the mail. On the outside, a woman rakes; inside,below a predictably unmemorable message, it's signed, "Your Secret Pal," with each letter amusedly printed backward, as if I would want to hold it up to a mirror to crack the secret code. More than likely, I like the poem not because of its poetic merits, but simply because it reminds me of the "mysterious" card. What would I.A. Richards say about that?Cleanth Brooks? I can't recall submitting my little poem for publication--I've spared it that indignity. In fact, I've shown it to two or three people prior to posting it here, which brings the number to upward of, say, five readers. One problem, I worry, though possibly it's just me, that the expression, "her secret pal," may sound a bit, albeit unintentionally, like a euphemism for menstruation.  Anyone?

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