Today's poem is by Madeline Tiger

                                For my daughter, Barbara Joan,
                                You left a radiance in my room

The sunlight spread today
even though, when you were here
it seemed all dark as if a warning cloud
and thunderous announcements
hung above us.
But we coped—wore layers of dark shirts
            and soft woven shawls.
We even carried raincoats, changes of shoes,
            an umbrella just in case
and remained strolling or pausing, cheerful
            as we've almost always been together.
I drove, you worried, gave advice (a daughter's
prerogative). We ate and drank
at a bay-shore tiki bar, sky overcast
            above us, warming heaters at our feet,
and we laughed with drinking neighbors
at our sides, we shared
pulled pork, pea soup, and puns      then wandered
out against the wind, admiring everything
there, in sight of yachts and pelicans. Did we know
what winds can do? or fog? Odysseus did.

On we went, intent on history
and glamorous Sarasota shops—
perfumes, liquors, flowery blouses, cards
to show us and others where we were. Who
would most admire these bright signs
and the snapshots you took on a fancy phone:
selfies, seagulls, aluminum constructions, you inside—
arch-angelical. We drove through mist, relieved to be
in the little white rental car a while—
over the bridges, down the lanes ...
St. Armand's, back to Main Street,
Pomegranate, Pineapple, Lemon, 1st,
through intermittent rain. Dark shops
where we read the national news
behind a Vodka & Marguerite;
laughing, sighing, pausing over the world
so far away, through Mozaic's amazing meal
and home to my shadowy condo, smiling
proudly having "accomplished" such a day of
joy in what could have been a moment flickering by,
an ephemeral visitation. We had no end of hugs
and packing boxes under electric lights—the storm
around us impending. No wonder that when
you left for California at 5:45 A.M. I slept &
woke and looked—eyes wide at no surprise: you'd left
the sunlight in your wake
here—, behind your careful course
the light came in.

Copyright © 2017 Madeline Tiger All rights reserved
from In the Clearing
Dos Madres Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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