Louise Welch

The keen attention of your blue eyes penetrates time,
Like the sunburst pin you wear on your royal blue shoulder.
It stabs my flesh like the beam of my own conscience
Stirring up dust in the cellars of my soul.

When I come in soaring on high ideas and tell you,
“Now I see how everything connects with everything else,”
(Again that look from which none of us could hide)—
“So that’s how it is with you today,” you say.

So much for instant enlightenment.

Now I have put on my iron shoes.
I am gnawing my loaves of stone.
When I meet your x-ray gaze on the way,
“Morning is wiser than evening,” you say,
And, “We grope our way”—but also,

“We are not alone in this dark world.”

—Martha Heyneman