Issue Four - June 2002

Sudden Stroke

By Brooks

had I known yesterday
how today
I would long for any part of any word
I would have sung three hosannas
after each syllable

had I known I would never again hear
from you
words that told
of your inner world
I would have memorized for us both
our private language of gestures

had I known the pattern of our dance
was so directed by words
I would have etched
our language
onto a wall of names
where we could have pointed to meaning

had I known
I would have to translate
the poetry in your eyes
into my own words
I would have long ago looked more deeply

had I known this could happen
to you who used words with Zen elegance
the map that led me to my own words
might have been lost

had I remembered
how quickly change takes its stance
I might have bargained with some god
stressing your goodness and gifts
offering to give up my own words
for yours

©2002 Brooks