“How the Poem Travelled” by Corey Mesler

How the Poem Travelled

————-for Mary Reynolds

The poem, though weak,
travels like a wave
across decades and
breaks on the shore
of lives, settled, mostly
settled. The poem uses
her name like a charm,
a talisman that says,
you are so lovely, the snow
holds your hand and is
envious. The poem uses
the name to pry open
the stubborn sea that wants
only to wash and wash
away the sand, the past
as sand. Mary, the poem
says. This is your new
birthday. You are now
as old as the world and
still as young as the light
on the snow, as the snow
sits in your parlor and waits
and waits for your benevolence.
The poem knew this would
happen. The poem is made of
peace, and light, and that
third thing, which is still secret.

Corey Mesler has published in numerous journals and anthologies and six novels, two full length poetry collections, and three books of short stories. He has also published a dozen chapbooks of both poetry and prose. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize numerous times, and two of his poems have been chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. With his wife, he runs Burke’s Book Store in Memphis, TN, one of the country’s oldest (1875) and best independent bookstores. He can be found here.