Miriam what was the sheen
On your cheek when obscene stares
Wondered that the love language
Was worship for you?

What was the true maternity
When you together made a will
To abort poverty
For your child?

What was the rhythm
Of your clacking walnuts
That squirrels and birds
Swooped and bounded to your hand?

And what the pubescent jokings
Of girls at the City of Paris
When you stood effaced nearby?

And what was the plaintive
Shriek in your heart
When they brought you to memorials
That few knew to attend?

And why did your fiery lover
Descend to earth in January
Like lightning bolts into a mountain?

Why does the moon fetch
The sun to rise
In her golden rooms of light?

And the prodigious ocean
And the rivulet to lap and cool
Our bitter ground?

Tell me at the end of time
When finished redeeming life
We have forgotten sound

Miriam Patchen
in memoriam

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