As Promised . . . .

Here's what I have been working on today, trying to create a "still life" poem about Ingrid's foot. As usual, I'm playing with a difficult range of diction, from dance to yoga to anatomical vocabulary, and I'm not sure if it all mixes together (not that it need be blended). I also had the challenge of including a self-portrait element in the poem to make it work with what Carol Rosenberg often does with her visual images. So I'm there and not there.

A Study of Ingrid’s Right Foot

Heel, ball, toe, nothing more than
a relevé:
the foot first planted,
the plantar surface flexed,
weighted on the floor, then
the fondu, the sinking, the resisting
against gravity, before the lift and light
up, the bounding and unbounding
up, to a glissade en avant, a slide
forward, how you might leap
from the hospital bed, to waken
to light and air, or to your children
and husband. I press my hand
to give you some purchase, and
in that moment is a ripple,
a movement, some coming to surface,
and then a falling, or a flexing,
a repose to tadasana, a foot firm
in the sand on this beach
between gulf and mainland. O Ingrid,
your foot deep in it, your toes fan,
nails Cleopatran red, this radiant
contact, so that I have become still,
something less than the sand,
and your foot bears everything.


January said…
It's beautiful, Jim. Love the last lines. I really hope your friend gets better very soon. Such a tragedy at the hands of a careless driver.

Your poem is a wonderful tribute.