to stride across in that inimitable way of hers,
shoulderbag banging against one hip, head high,
her hair promiscuous to the wind.
Or sits at the typewriter, inconspicuous
as any other woman,
writing messages to the universe
which will get her in trouble with the boss.
No past, no future, flickers like a clue
in all those chance encounters
that accumulate a life.
See her ride the subway. See her
warm the leftovers for supper.
See her feed her cat.
And can you see what vision
fires its shape in her sleep's kiln,
what passion, irony, and wit,
what love, what courage
in all her daily movements?
Ordinary is a word that has no meaning.
Her life is a fine piece of Japanese pottery
in the Shibui style,
so crafted that to see the cup's exterior
is to be privy only to its dull sienna clay
and to the flavored warmth with which you choose to fill it.
But drained of all your preconceptions
you may discover the bowl inside--
a high-glazed hyacinth blue
that rushes to your heart
and there remains, like an idelible message
you remember from a fortune told in tea leaves once,
like a wet jasmine flower
that you can never rinse away.