Sherri Harvey: A favorite poem

Wild Wind, Green Tea
by Eleanor Lerman

This poem for me categorizes the nature of “unconventional”–unconventional anything, really, but here, more specifically, relationships that somehow scare you but promise you the keys to the kingdom in one breath.  The imagery of October and witch dreams gets me every time. Are we ever ready to meet our fate?

Sherri Harvey
Lecturer, San Jose State University and Foothill College

San Jose

Wild Wind, Green Tea

Your birthday. A dark night of wild wind and goblin clouds.
The moon rocks in starry rafters, yellow lanterns sizzle on the
terrace, which you’ve opened to the sky. You are delighted
with all this mad weather, with the witch dreams of October.
Cold sheets, cold kisses, nightgowns dancing by themselves:
this is what a good soul conjures with wicked wishes, why
the world won’t harm you, why it is yours. Why instead of
cake, there are little dishes of green tea ice cream, civilized
and pure. Yet also full of secrets, strange and tasty. You hold
out the spoon and say, One bite and you are mine forever.
And because I believe you, I refuse that first mouthful,
waiting to gobble it all later, when I am ready to meet my fate.

Eleanor Lerman


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