Poem and painting
AS HIGH AS THE GROUND IS LOW
She loved a man who had never climbed trees,
never been pulled by longing up lanky limbs
of aged oaks, nor crowned the neighborhood,
nor as wind waved maple hands, nor as sun
watched all things pass below
unaware. She loved a man who feared
tall spires, monuments, cragged cliffs falling
into Superior. Even from below, the pounding,
breaking waterfall, and at times the clouds
sunk low into day but untouchable.
She feared only being rooted
forever to ground. In fancy, she imagined
their flight over vast forests, their breakfast
of golden cherries in the tips of yew.
The film of light a heady glow
in which she was not lost, but unfurled.
Her delicate tissue, translucent
in his thought that she (such leaden weight)
was a butterfly black as night, leading him
to steep edges, asking him to jump.
Painting by Carolyn Owen Sommer
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