Inside An Old Book of Poems by Mistral, Wendy Howe


Inside An Old Book Of Poems By Mistral

Part of me lingers here,
a garment of loose script
on the fly leaf, an unhemmed draft
of something or nothing.

This book has been stitched
by hand. Its paper stiff;
but your voice groomed with a typeface
called Garamond,
sounds like a Bohemian dance
from the South.

Your lines often sing
of an ocean wind, shore birds
and bell towers looming
over vineyards ripe
with black grapes, a maiden’s love
for the basket maker.

Yet , that silence in-between
tells me you are there
listening to stories outside
your valley beyond
the stone fortress
of Saintes-Maries-de-la Mer.

And maybe, you hear mine —
a woman tattered in her own verse
struggling to find insight, gain closer
access to you. Carefully, I thumb

through all these pages,
your breath fanned in the lamplight – emitting
a faint blend of tobacco and dust.

~Wendy Howe, via Terry Windling

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