Even in January rains
the blossoms open --
absence and longing
are also the plum-fragrant spring.
As the woman with her sign and cart of rags is spring,
beside the highway, stepping slowly
through the undimmed flower of her life.
"What I now most want to happen
in my raving heart, make it happen --"
Sappho's cry to the goddess.
Who knows if that prayer was answered?
Each part holds the rest in the chill
spring rain and the silence; let one animal
eat from your hand and the whole herd comes.
but the woman was not beautiful
or whole in her heart's raving,
and she forgave me nothing that I love.