Louise Gluck

Letter from Our Man in Blossomtime

Often an easterly churns
Emerald feathered ferns
Calling to mind Aunt Rae’s decrepit
Framed fan as it
Must have flickered in its heyday.
Black-eyed Susans rim blueberry. Display,
However, is all on the outside. Let me describe the utter
Simplicity of our housekeeping. The water
Stutters fits and starts in both sinks, remaining
Dependably pure ice; veining
The ceiling, a convention of leaks
Makes host of our home to any and all weather. Everything creaks:
Floor, shutters, the door. Still,
We have the stupendously adequate scenery to keep our morale
Afloat. And even Margaret’s taking mouseholes in the molding
Fairly well in stride. But O my friend, I’m holding
Back epiphany. Last night,
More acutely than for any first time, her white
Forearms, bared in ruth-
less battle with the dinner, pierced me; I saw
Venus among those clamshells, raw
Botticelli: I have known no happiness so based in truth.