There were two: sweet Emily, quiet "Ellis";
both did much in order to try to mask it,
one dropped sweets and messages in a basket
over the trellis
(what a pity no one could comprehend them),
flavored with irregular rhyme and nectar.
As for Ellis, no one would dare respect her,
should she offend them
with a tale of blustering heights of passion,
written by a maidenly preacher’s daughter.
Thus we see no Dickinson imprimatur,
only the ashen
wardrobe and the fascicles stitched together,
dreams of Gondal, dreams of a secret lover.
Still the skittish poet(ess) runs for cover:
birds of a feather
may in mortal fear of the prejudicial,
even now, when tempted to seek admission,
approbation, countenance, recognition,
use the initial.
For Deborah Warren
Wildflowers thrive and form, in mid-July,
a buoyant blue and gold receiving line
the length of Interstate Route 89,
as if to welcome friends and passersby.
But high up in the hillside meadow teems
a purple floret whose divine perfume
makes one forget that roses are in bloom--
mellifluous, the stuff of summer dreams.
And when Vermont’s Green Mountains turn to white,
when northern folk see little of the sun,
before the sugar maple sap can run,
when better days attend each bitter night,
I breathe in honeyed memories of clover,
and winter, for a while at least, is over.