For Babs

A generous afternoon gave us

Tea and history,

Mystery, romance and war.

We remembered past visits,

Pictured the family line,

Of parents and their children’s children.

The sun returned in splendor after

Hesitant rain,

But the wind blew through wasted staterooms,

And we, high above the court and ditch

Were sentinels of an empty stage,

Waiting to play our part

In rituals of courtly love.

And afterwards, I framed your face in tracery;

You launched a kiss towards me

And became another layer of history

Here, and in miniature somewhere in the cloud.