Song for a Seeker

by Rebecca Henry Lowndes

This is a memory: how,
when I'd left off seeking,
eschewed involvement,
disparaged adventure,
unheralded Friday I
descried intact a trove,
        a lode untapped,
of mettlesome rare cut,
bestowed on me a random
a guileless gift of
                candy and the
thoughtless stray remark
that set upon my cheek
        a veil;
as though a slackened
string somewhere went snap,
pulled taut and singing,
and wary look we shared,
for here it was, the fretted Grail
no toll could ransom out of
            a tandem soul.
How glad I'd been, that year, to be
But now his soft indulgent
eyes, his measured words
me everywhere did stalk,
and brought me down:
the proud and seasoned hunter
        snared, undone!

(Sweet consternation)
How, pale in my deep
green robe, I flew the stairs
to let him in  a stranger,
        nearly  one
unnerved, heart-plundered so,
as to declare me fetching!

And how, within my sunny
garret, kindle-snug and
shrine-remote, we talked,
refined this mined, this treasured
for he was bound away from me
and, clouded with regret, described
his years bereft, his hewn disguise,
            the loveless trap;
the haughty wife who thissed and thatted
coldly and without regard
'til all was ruin: a marriage
                    and in my lap.
How, after days, and days
       again, again
we talked (though ever less)
and in our stretching
       toward a center,
               scarcely touching,
tucked and stitched the raveled
edges of our lives

I'd never trusted the idea
of being loved before the chase,
before the searing trek across
self-immolation land;
but in this memory of how
the love I'd sought to raise
              found me
ere I had even  thrilling
the taste of ore at hand:
herein lies the becoming of
              my life, my history.

c. 1987, by Rebecca Henry Lowndes