Today's poem is by Lex Runciman
The First Owner of This Book Says Its Story
Smaller than an opened hand this little book
war over, paper yet rare and dear.
The important word here, over turn the page.
But how, when your child learned to walk
hand to stranger's hand in the Piccadilly Tube shelter -
sleep-fractured nights, a small girl's uneven
balance and stagger, each step kindness, distraction,
panic, dread. Deaths and Entrances, 1946,
acid pages foxing and foxed, that girl's prayers
by some trick older and her father returned
no longer those fears he or she or I might be dead.
I read in memory of, in praise of.
In thanksgiving for, I keep and read this little book.
And one night between "Holy Spring"
and "Fern Hill," I place a curved inch
of that girl's cut hair, that I might forget
and then all Gabriel and radiant find
my child of apple towns, not war
not dark, but windfall light.
Copyright © 2017 Lex Runciman All rights reserved
from Salt Moons: Poems 1981-2016
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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