January in Oberlin Helen sits at her piano
and plays My Lady
her cats circle around my ankles,
One decides to jump in my lap,
rolling over, revealing white on black velvet.
Her hands move over the keys
and I close my eyes listening for
low whisper of her song.
She doesn’t know that when I was eighteen
I dreamt of living in a house like this,
walls filled with the reminiscence of
trekking the Earth.
Her stories of South Hampton remind me
of when I was sixteen in Birmingham, 1985
riding my bike through subdivisions
lined with mansions
on the way to one of my jobs.
In some way, her stories cross over mine,
words, silence, ideas become ours
as this friendship begins.
* * * * *
Heather Ann Schmidt has taught writing and more for several institutions of higher learning in Michigan and online. Her most recent poetry books are On Recalling Life Through the Eye of the Needle [2011, Village Green Press], Transient Angels [2011, Crisis Chronicles Press] and Batik [2012, NightBallet Press]. She is also the founding editor and publisher for Recycled Karma Press. Heather’s forthcoming collections include Red Hibiscus and Field Notes. Find more at http://heatherannschmidt.yolasite.com.
January in Oberlinby Heather Ann Schmidt
Helen sits at her piano