Woman and Lupine

--birthday poem for Tey


There are moments, after we have struggled up the mountain
On the trail through chemise and scrub,
Thickets of poison oak in whose shadows lie
Rattlesnakes which shake a warning as we pass;
There are moments, after we have caught our breath,
After we have walked in the sun-baked lee of the mountain,
The heat clinging to our bodies like ticks;
Moments after the silences of the oak grove that leads
To the coolness of the redwoods and then out again
Into the midday heat:
                              This moment,
When the fresh scent of lupine greets us long before
Its yellow petals, carried there by the cool wind from
The fog-covered ocean;
                              This moment,
When you stand surrounded by bush lupine,
And I swear the scent is yours; the freshness, yours;
The glow, yours; one bright presence among others;
Telling me how far we have come along this trail,
And how much more we have to travel over this
Changing landscape until we reach the cliffside
Of this continent with only the ocean, so vast and lovely and deep,
Waiting before us; that, too, will come when it comes.
For now, you are woman and lupine, and I love
This flowering on the hillside; these lupine,
This woman.

Elliot Ruchowitz-Roberts