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Poems


Present

For Michelle on her birthday

And in what vase or vessel,
what jar or jug or pitcher,
could I bring you such a gift?
What box or bowl or bauble
would protect it, preserve it,
carry it, whole and fragrant,
to you today?
With what bows and ribbons,
what fine marbled paper,
would it be wrapped
that would be its equal,
in perfume and pleasure?

For what I would give you
is the unseen scent
of spring's sweet honeysuckle
as it suddenly surrounds
the walker on a wooded path --
a scent as fleeting as sunlight
on fresh green leaves
as a breeze teases them
with their own shadows,
as bright as the gossip
of a creek's currents splashing
among the slippery stones,
as subtle as the shifting shapes
of a bird's wings
as it swoops low
above the stream
to pluck mayflies
from a bubble.

A scent that is there
and then not there,
so that all I can bring you
is the idea of it,
infused in syllables,
gift-wrapped in words.


-- Lawrence Biemiller, 28 May 2006


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