We first met in that garden by the river. I, walking naked
among the fruit trees, and you, pressing close, called
my name, told the animals to go away. We formed love
in a cave, where I used to carve beads out of bones
I found amongst the rocks, where I painted pictures
on the walls and danced for you.
Later we had a cabin on a hill. Fruit trees were not native
there, so I worked the ground by hand, grew vegetables
that never did taste sweet as figs. But it was all OK
when we lay down together after a long day, after the sun
had set. We’d listen to the owls calling as we rested.
These days it’s different. We rendezvous for a weekly tryst
in that staunch place where the windows don’t open, where
the air smells old, where no animal furs blanket the floor.
(They sacrificed their lives for my comfort, I know.)
Now our touch is hurried and rote, and I feel smothered
by these synthetic clothes. Where’s our passion that burned
like the fires we’d built in our cave? I miss our cave—
with its huge mouth of warm sunlight, and cool wordless
caverns that ran so deep I never could find the end.
Sylva, North Carolina
Diana Jurss, 52, of Sylva, North Carolina is making her SPL debut this year. She is a pharmacist who works part-time in a local hospital. She lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Diana is married with two grown children. In her winning poem, Diana probes deeply into the mystical, metaphorical meaning of life, light and love. Her sign of the zodiac is Scorpio.