( For Marian, My mother 1922-2016)
On this day. the day before your birthday
desert clouds are stacked in stone-gray.
The wind sporting a ragged dress
runs wild and reaches up
trying to climb them. We’re watching ( witnessing)
Bronte’s shadow, Merle Oberon’s slight form
standing against the storm cliffs
feeling eternity; and from eternity
glancing down at the moors. Her lowlands
haunted by lament & heather. Yet. here
it’s coyote’s wail and mesquite. But still, we’re
in a silver frame of mind. The sky unrolls
its reel of weather; and back in our old house, we’re looking
at Wuthering Heights, 1939. You whisper
she’s a beautiful actress. Her eyes exotic..
and I remember thinking then
as I do now, how much you resemble her.
Even more, the character
she artfully portrayed. Your heart stretched
beyond the river to hills towering in myth
and dark shade. An ache to grab the ancient
and the romantic. Something freight trains
couldn’t carry home or their brick enclaves
manufacture. On this day, the day before
most of the leaves have fallen, you lean back
against the horizon recalling
the film we shared , loved — and I shed cold skirts
of air that separate souls.