Pan. Peacocks. Purity.
I applaud them, grateful, laughing.
Mornings I drink Constant Comment
tea with oranges half-crazy Suzanne
served to Leonard Cohen. Happy:
when I was a girl I walked alone
to a round pond glimmered with frozen rain
and it was perfect, untouched, waiting
for my circling silver skates. I still
visit Connecticut, remembering
marbles and berries and sky, the green
tinge that ushered the hurricane
where I lived next to black and white cows.
I learned to dance and I still dance.
Sequins. Red boots. Prayers. Poems.
The edge of the moon in cloud-wide air.
I will wear heavy bells and run
in goatskins up the village hill
on Skyros just as winter ends
around Athena’s temple. I thank
belly and legs and bright wild hair
and the way my soft arms fit around
my bearded lover’s body. Travel
with him to islands and islands
and bottles of Mythos, unicorns
smiling on beer’s bold green labels
that whisper away time’s will.
author of 39 collections of poetry (most recently, in 2020, A Slow Bottle of Wine, winner of the Jessie Bryce Niles Chapbook Competition), has lived in Ithaca, New York, since 1975 and, now as a full professor, has taught Writing at Ithaca College since 1977. After many years of coordinating the Ithaca Community Poets and directing the national Feminist Women’s Writing Workshops, Inc., she was selected to be Tompkins County’s first poet laureate. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies, textbooks, and stage productions, and she has edited three thematic anthologies, most recently, with Split Oak Press, a tribute collection celebrating the inspiration of Adrienne Rich. In 2018, FutureCycle Press published her Selected Poems and selected it as their Best Book of the Year.
See also: https://faculty.ithaca.edu/machan/