I'm an independent sort, a little stubborn, a little closed
-off, and so the thought of needing a muse to inspire me
does not appeal. Someone in diaphanous silk with a lyre
and a crown of roses, attending so closely, breathing on me,
taking away all my elbow room, unsettles me and I will have
none of it. And yet, I discover today in a portrait I see of a muse
that there is something in the face, its downward glancing,
the containment of a knowing beyond awareness, in the hand
like a butterfly, that says I did not choose to be here,
but nevertheless I am and I will make the most of it.
It was something I'd seen before and I knew then that I had it
all wrong, for what I was seeing in the face of the muse,
were the faces of my grandchildren. And then out of the blue
my son in Kyoto Skypes me saying my granddaughter
kept asking for, "G'an'ma," and pointing to his laptop.
Then before I knew it, there we were, over acres of space,
all three of us singing together, 'Twinkle, Twinkle, little Star'
and 'Eency Weency Spider' and I held up my mug of tea
and she her drink-bottle of wheat tea and we said, "Cheers!"
and toasted, I guess, family and long distances
broken down between. And to seeing. Later,
I tell Kate about it and she says, "But that's so cool.
That must have really made your day."
Kay McKenzie Cooke
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