Its gleaming luster spins, then slows,
easing to rest before my eyes.
The house is mute, and a freezing wind
moans through the trees. So, where my friend
am I? Just books peer back, as though
not a living soul were here.
But I am here, although I’ve vowed
a thousand times—go. Otherwise,
one winter spring may never come.
The snow will fall; the wind will numb.
Then, who’ll recall just when, or how
one moment turned to years,
in a derelict house
where certain nights
from an attic room
a shattered mirror glows?
Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
Out past the harbor, a ship’s horn briefly moans,
recalling once more how one night she
slowly turned to smile at me when we were young,
having stopped beside an old swing where the trees
had let go their leaves to fall,
blanketing the walk we’d greet our classmates on.
And every star-crossed lyric; every song
that’s lingered after all,
only echo that briefest of melodies,
when her eyes danced, as laughing,
we pushed off and swung
far higher than we dreamt―till we leapt free,
its ghostly back-and-forth slowly creaking,
Mark Mansfield is the author of two full-length collections of poetry,
Strangers Like You (2008, revised 2018, Chester River Press) and Soul
Barker (2017, Chester River Press). His poems have appeared in The
Adirondack Review, Bayou, Blue Mesa Review, Fourteen Hills, Iota,The
Journal, Magma, Measure, Orbis, Salt Hill, Staple, Star*Line, Unsplendid,
and elsewhere. He holds an M.A. in Writing from Johns Hopkins and was a
recent Pushcart Prize nominee. Currently, he lives in upstate New York.