FALL 2009

Grace Cavalieri


for Jan

No one to ask now about the book.
Jan's the only one who'd know.
I think there was an orphan
who knew her guardian
only by his shadows,
his long legs cast from slanted light
on the high brick wall. At the end
somehow she sees him, a
shape comes into focus, (he turns out
to be quite young,)
and the orphan marries him, or else
it was her real daddy she finds.
I can't remember which. They say
it was a film with Fred Astaire
but the point is this: We sat on the
small varnished chairs in the Hermitage
Library, summer afternoons, with the smell of paper
and wood, the feel of sun,
through the years. Moving out
of picture books, we went to higher shelves,
until the books were made to films.
And so they stay,
while what we thought about is gone.
I could search the titles, but I want my friend
finding our old books,
where the shadows remain, and of course the wall.

Grace Cavalieri has published several books of poetry . Water on the Sun (Jacaranda Press, San Jose) was listed on Pen American Center’s 2006 Best Books List. Among production awards, her recent play “Quilting the Sun” received a key to the city of Greenville, S.C.. Anna Nicole : Poems (Goss 183: Casa Menendez, 2008) is her latest book. She produces and hosts “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” for public radio, now in its 32nd year.



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