ANGELS IN POPLARS
No-one was even thinking of angels that night,
Not after such a long and busy day.
The two little boys already asleep in their red Mexican beds,
Small heads settled on their pillows,
Touched by the odd flash of evening sun
Burning red brick into palace gold.
Standing by the old-fashioned window,
Glass as fine as clear water,
I saw their immense and lovely heads resting
Among the leaves of the Poplar trees
At the bottom of the garden.
Angels! I knew them instantly,
Knew their wide sweet mouths and quiet eyes,
The delicate leaves shimmering in and out of their lovely faces.
Breathless, I waited for them to speak words of tremendous wisdom.
Words of religious or spiritual concern, maybe,
Or perhaps a pedestrian sentence or two,
Made significant because they were holy.
But they kept their silence, absorbing my own quietude.
There was no smile, no halo, no wings,
No long, shivering gown to hide gold sandalled feet
Nothing but the curve of their inward smile
Promising a sweetness to rock the world.
I wanted them to stay, to continue
This intense and wordless conversation.
But they had to leave, to go away,
Not with a beating of great wings,
Not with a blaze of light brighter than sunshine
But with a slow and gentle fading.
So here I am, a lifetime later, thinking of angels
Resting in Poplars.
© Gwen Grant