February, 2019

The Frames
by Phyllis Hoge Thompson

Wait here. Listen. Presences soft as snow down
Are assembling, and you can find them becoming clear,
Can't you, in the window? Water glasses, ice tinkle of silver,
Declensions of tone and motion tell how uncommon

They are in their ordinary brown dresses, eating apricots
And cheese. They will pull the mauve curtains against heavy sun
Only, against blanching, not to hide from us. In Dublin
It was the same--a lecture at Trinity, print exhibits

At Mounjoy Square, and thick plaster-painted crosses
Made of stone at the museum, after a gritty bridge
Over the Liffey. Worn out walking to University College
Through Stephen's Green, I saw, cast through masses

Of high hedge leaves, a thrust of metal, and there
Strayed as to some other celebrated Irish unknown.
But this was Moore's bronze of Yeats fronting rings of stone-
That Olympian hurled single upon the astonished air.

There are some words a whole work is made for-true acts and
That can't be written down. The mystery, kaona, makes me tell
Riddles, and what is not true I can say readily. Or I can tell
Crowds or strangers the truth. I take men without names

To bed with, innocent, but not friends, whose dangerous anagrams
Storm with kaona, and secretly punish me, a Spartan
With a fox at my heart, speaking for love to one man.
Untellable reality forever hurtles from frames.


(for Marjorie Sinclair Edel)