Thursday, September 2, 2021

The word.


Letterpress print by artist Sam Winston.

Dear Letters,

Are you busy forming words today?  Making concrete poetry, I hope?  Here is your song for today, and please also enjoy this example of concrete poetry, titled, Fingers Remember, by poet Marilyn Nelson.

       Long     fing-     ers,       how
       signals   flow      up         them
        from      tip       and       finger-
         print      all       the           way
          up         the      arm        and
          the       neck     to          what
          ever     magic   light       takes
          flame   so       touch      ignites
          as the   palm    smooths    warm
         from one person to another, passes
         sunlight one skin has taken in, which
          the other receives like thirsty soil gulps
          rain and infinite generations of ancestors
           yawn awake asking if it’s time for the line
to         miracle up a new life. They were so young,
and     innocence is a birth gift intended all along
to be    opened with love, promises, and blessing
as you enter the future that only exists if you live
into it. His name was John. His moving muscles
 formed shapes she had not met before. Green
  time laid its fragranced landscape before them.
   So they entered. Married. Irene came soon.
   At eighteen, Gussie was widowed, with a
    toddler older than her youngest siblings.
     The family’s hand opened and closed
       in welcome. But fingers remember.

Source: Poetry (December 2019)