She sleeps with the doors and shutters swung back
so the view out the window across the hall
is never obscured: lush rows of lettuce, zucchini, basil
climbing the hillside, ripe vines of deep red tomatoes, raspberries,
and always the lavender, swaying in the slight breeze,
then the woodsscrub oak and acacia leaning into the hill.

Mornings in the garden,
she fills a bucket from the faucet by the kitchen door
and wets down the path to the apiary, humming.

On the drive into town, the mountain roads curve in a way that
sometimes reminds her of Juglio's name, with its swerves
and inversions, so that the fact of turning the wheel undoes her
a little, and she is given to reminiscence.
She pulls off the road and walks to where they used to bathe
under the tributary spilling over a rock ledge into the river.

Afternoons in the bindery, she works in silence,
lacing signatures together, and securing them
with an intricate pattern of knots and stitches,
or affixing patches of Japanese paper, chosen
to match the weight and weave of a torn page.


Poems by Lisa Sitkin:

All Along We Were Woven
I have never
Love Poems
The Bookbinder's House, Selvole
The Limit of Literature
The Forest Cycle (excerpts)
My Grandmother's Heart
Why I Love Swimming
The Gift
Asia's Hands

TIMES TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets