March 30 – Susan Rooke, another new poet

Monday, March 30  

“Then you relax your hand, and all the skin relaxes,
letting go the taut shine of youth . . .”

March 30 — the second last day of March which, the saying goes, “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”  Whoever thought the saying first must have lived somewhere where March weather is fickle and tentative.  Blustery.  Surely not Tucson or Miami.   Tentative weather months are the blessing of geographies where the tilt of the sun against the earth creates seasons rich with teasing, soft breezes swept away by 25 mph bluster.  The teasing sharpens the appetite for new flowers and fresh grass.  A great moment in the year for the Christian feast of Resurrection, thousands of tiny explosions of new life and improbable beauty.

Today’s post comes from a list that often expands my horizons (“A Year of being Here: mindfulness poetry by wordsmiths of the here & now”).  Susan Rooke is new to me and, perhaps, to you.  Today’s post, “A Marriage in the Hands,” can be read any day in any season of the year.  Understated love, so intimate.  It measures time in decades, not the rapid fire swirl of springtime energy only.

p.s. This morning I searched the Poetry List, looking for a March poem that was posted so long ago, that it appeared to my eye and ear as fresh and new, full of surprises.  Then too, the story Susan Rooke tells fits our present situation — love without showy extravagances-  tender love — enduring love: a song of human intimacy.

Have a blest day.


John sj

Today’s Post —  Susan Rooke: “A Marriage in the Hands”
Posted by Phyllis Cole-Dai on Mar 25, 2015 midnight

You make a fist, that I might see
your skin grow tight again,
smoothed across your hand.

Those big hands that you like
to joke are too heavy when carried
all day at the ends of your arms.

Then you relax your hand,
and all the skin relaxes, letting
go the taut shine of youth,

and I see your sacrifice,
the thirty years you’ve held
us close, held my strength

for me, and all your tenderness.
I put my own hand out, relaxed,
palm down, next to yours.

You are aging, so am I, and this
is something we have sworn
always to do as one. Undeniably

I see we have. Then you make
a fist again. I make my own.
As one we smooth the way ahead.

“A Marriage in the Hands” by Susan Rooke.

Susan Rooke lives in Austin, Texas.  Despite her normal façade, she’s always been interested in the mysterious and odd, and has completed the first novel of a fantasy series. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in The Texas Poetry Calendar 2013Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine, San Pedro River Review, and on Austin Capital Metro buses.  She and her husband of almost 30 years (who indulges her interests without subscribing to them himself), spend as much time in the mountains of West Texas as possible.

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