At first all you see are the folds
of drapery, high grass close together, swaying
beads you parted as a child, field behind
the house, then river. Sky.
You were told finches lived there, red-
winged, tipsy, upside down their hold
on the reeds, even so
they sang, trilling over and over
your outstretched hands song
poured like seeds from a basket or from
a bowl, water.
There was a woman,
young, beautiful—you used to hug her
from behind, closing your hands
over the cry of surprise
she gave out
like perfume. Now here
she is, rising
from the dead
landscape of memory, just this
fragment of her, still
"Fragment of a Woman from Kos" from Rapture by Susan Mitchell. Copyright © 1992 by Susan Mitchell. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, www.harpercollins.com.
(HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1992)