H A R R Y  G R I S W O L D: Poet, Photographer, and Author of Two Poetry Books

Partial Memory

Night, leaves layered
in black puddles, the rain
driving down more—
catalpa, maple, hickory,
elm—I think elms
were still around. But I can’t
find in my view of that night
why I am waiting alone
as you, under your umbrella,
move unnoticed toward me.
You must be shimmering
like all else around.
And somehow you know
to search for me through the rain
after singing at the service.
Your fingers startle me,
tapping my spotted
steamy window,
which I lower
so our warmths can meet.
Quick water drops leap in.
With visible breath
you give me words
anyone would want,
no one could confuse.
I see myself sitting silent.
You turn. You step
away among flat, wet leaves
and grow small beneath the trees.
Drops on my window
pass you along,
one to another.
They split you into blue, gray
and green. Until you
become the night.

—From Camera Obscura, Wordcraft of Oregon (2007)

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