Katherine Summer

Katherine Summer

Mark this visit made on your second birthday:

April 29, pale Tuesday, clouds gathering,

cool. I wandered through a day plain as

mud—early waking to chill rooms unwarmed

by sleeping sun, spare breakfast (tea,

English muffin), three futile hours at the

desk, then slow trudge to trudging library

job. Not a bad day but hardly good, average at best.

Till this—your sudden arrival

as I walked home through late-afternoon

shower. The rain was expected, came on the

heels of darkening sky, thunder, lightning.

You were a surprise. I’d seen you only

half-a-dozen times and not for months. Any

one of several nearer guards might’ve risen

to carry me home. But they didn’t; you did.

Came to me like this—tottering after

the dog on uncooperative legs threatening

collapse, your face alive, framed by loops

of feather hair, caught in perpetual pause

between shriek and utter smile: perfect gift.

Offered to me, here, molded from cold

drops of gray rain. You stayed for the half-

mile to my steps, didn’t speak but remained

close radiating warmth, tangible heat flowing

like a stream murmuring “Revive. Revive.”

Safely delivered, freshly born, I paused at

my door. The rain stopped, you disappeared,

and a rainbow rose against brightening sky.

That fervent arc ends only where you are,

everywhere you are. I follow it still,

sufficient cause for hope.

May, 1980


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