Poems by Joan Larkin



Fawn Before Doe Season



She wants a house full of cups and the ghosts
of last century's lesbians;p I want a spotless
apartment, a fast computer.p She wants a woodstove,
three cords of ash, an axe;p I want
a clean gas flame.p She wants a row of jars:
oats, coriander, thick green oil;
I want nothing to store.p She wants pomianders,
linens, baby quilts, scrapbooks.p She wants Wellesley
reunions.p I want gleaming floorboards, the river's
reflection.p She wants shrimp and sweat and salt;
she wants chocolate.p I want a raku bowl,
steam rising from rice.p She wants goats,
chickens, children.p Feeding and weeping.p I want
wind from the river freshening cleared rooms.
She wants birthdays, theaters, flags, peonies.
I want words like lasers.p She wants a mother's
tenderness.p Touch ancient as the river.
I want a woman's wit swift as a fox.
She's in her city, meeting
her deadline; I'm in my mill village out late
with the dog, listening to the pinging wind bells thinking
of the twelve years of wanting, apart and together.
We've kissed all weekend; we want
to drive the hundred miles and try it again.

From COLD RIVER (Painted Leaf Press, 1997)