Poetry Friday - The Collected Works of Susan Ramsey
Bonne Poetry Friday to you. From my most immediate ancestor:
As published in Poetry East, Number Fifty-Three
There’s no need to be sentimental. Say the heart
is a lamp burning whale oil or kerosene,
clean, bright enough for needlework or reading.
Not feeble, not dim, but certainly domestic.
Outside the night bulges with dangers, both the prowling,
predatory, coming-to-get-you kind
and the rooted, the lurking, the submerged
waiting to rip the delicate bellies of boats.
And the heart, we’ve said, is a lamp. Then certain people,
particular jigs of the pulse, some speeds of breathing
create around the heart a Fresnel lens,
a system of prisms and mirrors twelve feet high
which reflects, refracts and magnifies that lamp
as it floats frictionless on quicksilver, turning,
dervish repeating, repeating a circuit of joy,
its light now visible eighteen miles out to sea.