A Bouquet for J

poetry 0
Jessica Greenbaum


Long ago—when measured by a single life—
On a typewriter, and owing to the kindness of your
Nature, you wrote a letter (from your Brookline
Garret’s desk) that traveled, seed-like,
Landing on my kitchen table in Ft. Greene where
I was sorting mail, and there it flowered like a
Volunteer among rejection slips and
Envelopes addressed to Occupant. You asked if I might
Send some poems. O editor
(Also poet/translator)! A search party’s
Lamp glows especially bright for those lost in dark doubts!
As one missive followed another, I wonder who first
Mentioned those dreams she was pursuing—
And who first volunteered how surely she was failing—
Not knowing then what fortune would
Deliver: Children. Books. Visits. Faith. And
Evenly, and better, our friendship with its year-
Round blooms and candor. All from a single letter.

Jessica Greenbaum’s third book, Spilled and Gone, came out from U. Pittsburgh Press this spring.