14 December, 2009

The Conversation

Rain-soaked, the mottled bark
of the flowering pear darkened
past its texture’s vanishing.
My confessions always provoke
someone else’s confessions.
Why do you stand in the kitchen

if you don’t want to talk?
The changing light of morning
goes back and forth
as if it had already been
one whole mixed-up day.
Pear leaves tracked in

and out. The conversation
continues between windows.
Pear leaves shed around the house.
I thought by earning the world
I might have myself.
I thought you were listening.

Growth for this one tree meant
staying still. Still means
what it did then. Hardened
into a random texture
from the inside out and as we speak.
As if I could speak my heart.

~ ~ Katie Peterson

This poem originally appeared in New Issues (Western Michigan University Press, 2006), and is reprinted here with the permission of the publisher.