NEW MEXICO SENIOR POET LAUREATE
Hilda F. Wales

OUT OF STORM
Sestina


I lie awake and wonder as I listen to the wind
if the trees will still have leaves beyond the storm,
or will they stand like petal-lacking tulips,
lonely and unclothed in storm-fresh silence,
sentinels to guard a torn, a tattered garden
illuminated kindly in the gold of morning.

Illuminated kindly by the gold of early morning,
I resist, then strain--listen for the wind,
but only birds force entry to my silence,
a kitchen window wasp, the only storm.
Uncurling, I prepare to pace my garden,
obliged to comfort ravaged trees and tulips.

I choose to comfort ravaged trees and tulips
as they stand there bare, shadows in the morning,
whose absent leaves announce how, like my garden,
living drifts away in pieces with the wind--
life forever altered when passed the sacred storm
that raged the day she crumpled into silence.

One spring, she paused, then crumpled into silence,
her grave adorned with tears and short-lived tulips.
I listen to the echoes of her storm
like a bird returning, gliding into morning.
Drifting slowly--resting on the wind,
I wonder how to fix my battered garden.

I ponder how to mend my ravaged garden,
like a caged canary, afraid to sing in silence,
who still sees random petals clinging to the tulips
and wonders why they didn't catch the wind,
the hurricane that came in early morning.
Are they the only remnants from the wreckage of the storm?

A lonely remnant from wreckage of that storm,
I don't know how to plant a safe, a stable garden.
Random gales will shroud some other morning
and all my trees will some day fall to silence.
Petals, red and yellow, are only loaned to tulips.
Uncertainty rides on every gust, has wings in every wind.

Songs rise to speak of touching wind, of tasting storm,
of planting purple tulips in an evanescent garden,
of faith that into every singing silence, wanders morning.

Hilda F. Wales
Albuquerque, New Mexico
HILDA F. WALES, 74, Albuquerque. Hilda, a newcomer to our Golden Circle of Senior Poets Laureate, is a retired counselor. She and her husband Don have four children and eight grandchildren. Her birth sign is Aquarius.