February 14th

Valentine's Day,
our first apart.
Are you not coming back?
Where do I put this paper heart?

The snow, the sleet last night
this morning's year
whites-out out world.
They said you'd reappear

once I let you go
got rid of history's mess
(the noise, the clutter I created)
said you'd return to bless

a quiet life
share it again with me
lend me one more swift chance
to perfectly

tell you how long I've loved
and not let pride
or fear from decades past
lure me to hide

my need, my hope
or lately, fresh desire.
Strange: thopse weeks, our words,
how you'd admire

some silly thing I'd done
outfit I'd wear
fresh thought or
my unruly hair.

Earlier seasons, you had not,
but now you'd say
over and over,
as that day

in ancient Rome: I love you.
What wild sweet flight
what daring ride we ended.
Was I right

to let you go? How can
the earth make sense?
Chilled cardinals huddle here

and lightfooted horses
black-paied at our fence.

More by Rose Styron

Untitled [Each crisp autumn]

Each crisp autumn
there are fewer leaves, more clarity—
light cycles of the haymound
odors of late roses
rivers rushing where we
once meandered
content in the casual chaos of each
season, plotting no espionage
because we did not know
the world as terror then.

Goodnight, Great Summer Sky

Goodnight, great summer sky
world of my childhood and the star-struck sea.

White chaise from that ancestral southern
porch my raft,
white goose-down quilt my ballast,
under Orion on the green-waved lawn
I float, high—
new moon, old craft
tide strong as ever to the sheer horizon.

Over the seawall, on the dock
Andromeda their strict and jeweled guard
as tall Orion—seas and lawns ago—
chose to be mine,
our children sleep: Alexandra, Tom
under their folded goose-wing sails
true friends in dream,
the folly wrangle of their sibling day
outshone by starlight.

Calm island evening, never-ending sea—
our lovers’ rages, too, are quiet,

Miracle of midsummer, the trust of dark
sails us beyond this harbor.