27 January 2012

The Eyes (and Noses) Have It!

PROMPT: This poem had its origin in a strong image--rain and wind in spring making a shower of petals from flowering trees, which then collected in drifts where the sidewalk met the grass--and a strong, nearly over-powering scent. I sometimes ask writers to each contribute a strong image or scent to a list, then each writer can choose to write about his/her own suggestion or one someone else made. If you try this prompt, let the image, or smell, or both, take you to a new place, as in my poem the narrator moves from nature outside to a person inside. The "you" of the poem didn't literally smell like the apple blossoms, but the feeling evoked by the embrace and the unique smells accompanying it created the same sort of headiness--a figurative similarity. 

The Morning After

Rain stole the last of the apple blossoms
yesterday afternoon. I watched
still darker clouds gather overhead as
wind waltzed the petals from tree
to the grasses’ greedy arms.

Soon the wind grew jealous and
pitched the petals to the desert of sidewalk where
when it would not reign its temper in
grass gathered the petals to itself in drifts
like a fence in winter will snow.

I staggered up the straight path to my front door
so punch-drunk with the breeze that I 
thought I saw Krishna dance before the cow maidens,  
luring them with the music of his flute
toward the sheltered spot
under the tree.

The morning after was when
you stepped from the shower and held me.
And the scent of soap and damp
where my nightgown met your skin was
the same.