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Mine is not from the morass of Flanders’
marshes, although their hues ink my eyes.
Not from a mother: her head spun, always,
Nor from convent walls or kisses I hid —
head bowed — inside my childhood palms
to quiet longing. Such longing.
But from a Flemish farmer, once,
who held my face in both hands to kiss
my brow for no more than a second —
that brief — but with such will & tenderness
that I can now lift my head far back,
to read the clouds.
I’m from the ocean’s melancholy, dragging
its anchors back & forth, never quiet, never
still, waves so restless they can’t mirror the moon.
From those tides, those ebbings.
From two wedding bands on my finger,
from them too — & from every book I ever held:
my shelved provenance, language womb & sail.
Copyright 2021 Laure-Anne Bosselaar. First published in Five Points, Vol 20, #3.
Laure-Anne Bosselaar is the author of These Many Rooms (Four Way Books, 2019) and served as Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara until April 2021.