Wordless river

Benches falter
in dappled light,
her cup too full
for any to hold her.

I sit near her whyness
freckled moon-milk skin
clad in straps of nothing
a frown that says enough;
the mouth won't say a word.

I ask, pointless
what gift may fall true
to my friend all red-cheeked.

Will my hand which long ago
held onto her wrist, frightened
of the light blue tremor within?

Will my eye on her neck, knitting
a warm coat to shield her?

Would she look up now
and recover?

by the near-glass fragility
of her shoulders,
by the reeds
that have left her voice,
I sit a minute longer


Suzanne Aigrain, 2003