The theme for today’s 21 Days/21 Poems is relationships.
He never learned her, quite. Year after year
that territory, without seasons, shifted
under his eye. An hour he could be lost
in the walled anger of her quarried hurt
or turning, see cool water laughing where
the day before there were stones in her voice.
He charted. She made wilderness again.
Roads disappeared. The map was never true.
Wind brought him rain sometimes, tasting of sea –
and suddenly she would change the shape of shores
faultlessly calm. All, all was each day new:
the shadows of her love shortened or grew
like trees seen from an unexpected hill,
new country at each jaunty, helpless journey.
So he accepted that geography, constantly strange.
Wondered. Stayed home increasingly to find
his way among the landscapes of her mind.
Here’s a man trying to understand his wife. The lines, “He charted. She made wilderness again”, are delightful and capture his struggle quite aptly.
Dennis Scott (1939 – 1991) was a Jamaican poet, actor and dancer. He published numerous collections of poetry. His poetry is widely studied and he remains one of the most influential Jamaican poets. He danced with the Jamaican National Dance Theatre Company. You may recognize him as the actor who played Lester Tibideaux on The Cosby Show.