Talking To My Son Before Sleep

“Which is bigger,” he asks me, “the ocean or sky,”
and I want to tell him the heart, which even today
has been practicing vastness, is learning to say yes

in new languages, learning to stretch beyond
the center, beyond the lips, learning to be more moon
and less woman, to reflect light without owning it,

learning to lose whatever it has used before as a measure.
This is the way I want to love: in an idiom stronger
than tongues, I want to love in the way that tides pull

and release, like the moon which holds without touch,
I want to invite the sky to create a bigger space in me
a place spacious enough to hold all the wings

of the passing moment. I want to be buoyant enough
to carry all of love’s weight. “The sky,” I say.
“The sky is bigger, but the ocean is also wide.”

He is satisfied by my words, closes his eyes.
In my chest, a star falls. In my belly
strong tug of tides.

~~ Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer ~~

Whenever you meet a stranger…

Whenever you meet a stranger in winter,
whether you’re shuffling through slush,
or slouched in a plastic seat on a bus,
lift up your gaze from below your cap
to look in his eyes for the tiny candle
that you’ve heard poets speak of,
some glimmer of humor or honeyed delight
that re-ignites when we greet each other,
spreading its light into concentric circles,
ever widening.  Imagine a rush hour bus
aglow inside from the tiny candles in all of us,
each one relit by someone who dared to look up
and smile at another instead of just looking away –
seeing at last not another brown coat in a seat,
but a human, illuminated, a sliver of divinity.
~~ Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer ~~

Before We Can Unlearn

So far it’s the physical world that we speak of:
the red Frisbee, the sweet blackberry, the small pink ball.
She points to a tree. This, she says. Tree. I say. Well,
lilac bush. Already the world slips from its chain of syllables.
I want to speak with her about this filtered honey light
of a late April afternoon, and I do, but she brings me
a rock and says, This. And I say, Rock. Gray rock.
And even more, I want to speak of what comes next,
of the longing that this light begets—how it rouses in me
a deep wish to lose the physical world and be current,
be wave, be invisible flourish, to be warmth that drives flowers
to bloom. I want to tell her how sometimes the body
interferes, so material, so fleshsome, so brute in its hungers.
How beyond the red Frisbee there’s a pulse, a rhythm,
a tide that no words can touch, and it gathers us and connects
us to this all that is: one cosmos, one bloodstream, one river,
one art. How sometimes we get it—whatever it is—and all
that is concrete dissolves in the breath. How we’re twined
to this moment, and the next, and the next. Nest, I say,
as she brings me the small wreath of grass. Bird, I say,
as the small body wings past. She smiles and tries to fly—
half jump, half fall, all innocence. Yes, I say. That’s what
love is like. Oh golden light. Oh luminous task of losing
whatever we think we know: Tree. Rock. Nest.
~~ Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer ~~