Andrea Potos is the author of nine poetry collections, including Mothershell (Kelsay Books), A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry), Arrows of Light (Iris Press), An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry), and Yaya’s Cloth (Iris Press). Her poems have been published widely in print and online, including in The Sun, Poetry East, Peacock Journal, and gratefulness.org. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
ON LOOKING AT MY HANDS AND SUDDENLY SEEING
The hands of her later years, whorls and lines like an old grained wood swept and polished by time, made thinner by wear and spotted with spools of darkness here and there, souvenirs of the days I knew myself a sun goddess, rapt under light and becoming bronzed, those years when you didn’t even have to ask me, I knew neither she nor I would ever die.
VISITING THE HOSPICE
Call it heaven already-- air of ochre light, art on the walls-- a mosaiced Balinese dancer, a cathedral of orchids. I glimpse siderooms filled with books, leather sofas to sink inside, windows with green views of paths winding somewhere I cannot see. Along the spacious hallways, no one hurries. Each person who greets me carries a stillness I long to keep. My friend sleeps most of the day now; at the door of his room, I pause, knowing the safety of his passage.
From her heart the swans and snow geese, the owls and goldfinches took flight to trace a cursive path across the pages of the world that did not know it needed poems to live, until the rustle and sweep of great wings swelled the air, landed on windowsills and curbs, on fenceposts and thresholds everywhere alighting on beauty, balancing on truth.