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For Sara

You ask for a poem,
       That I cannot sing to you
       The scent of apple-blossoms,
          That I cannot speak
          With the voice of the cresting sea,
    That no poem of mine
          Could tell the truth of moonlight
          Through silver leaves,
          While galaxies wheel above.

You ask for a poem,
       I tell you I have only written love songs,
       That they are different things.
You insist:
       I show you ballads
       In which I misspell French,
       And bossa novas that do not rhyme.
          (I resist, but barely,
          Comparing thee to a summer's day.)
I am without poems:
       There is nothing I can say
          Not better said by spring.

I am without poems,
       Yet you insist.
          I take you to a quiet place of mirrored water,
          In a forest after rain.
          (It is night; the trees are elm and willow.)

You ask me where my poem is.
I am silent.
As you protest my silence,
       Your voice is moonlight through silver leaves;
          Your laughter, apple-blossoms waking.

I take you to the edge of the water,
                And you look in.

          Around your brow rests a garland of stars.

- J.R.S. '04