From beneath the dogwood tree
I listened to wind rustling
                            across housetops
and through daisy fields
'til it was over me ...
singing in my ear ...
tooting down my throat.

Everything swayed and curved
                            and billowed ...
and fairy capes flew
toward the sky then
sprinkled down freely,
salting dandelions and poppies
and dousing me in the process.

Do I love you
or do I love love?
I don't know. Truly.
But I'll live,
as long as there are fairy capes
and dandelions.
Alone is Such a Long, Long Time
I know the lonely days by heart.

Even as a child,
floating my ship to school
across enemy seas,
with its peppermint sails unfurled,
I fought dragons
and demon gnats 
alone ...

Share the lonely days with me
and I'll show you castles
only I know about ...

lavender books
and clouds of steam
from the tea pot ...

Lonely days were meant for two.

And ... 0 ... beloved ...

to adorn your soul ...

one silver promise ...

the fragile forming of                               divinity 
because I know

          that you love

              silver things ...

How many times have I
forgotten you today ...
Five? Six? A dozen times perhaps ...

Once when I saw a shadow
and realized it was mine
with none beside it.
You were gone.

Once when I looked across the room
into eyes totally without
shadows and sunlight,
without the tenderness I love so
when you watch me.

I must learn to accept today
and tonight
and the morning of every tomorrow
knowing we tried, in our own way,
scarred by old hurts,
both vulnerable to
and suspicious of
each other's softness.

Certain that new loves
aren't important
not now
not yet.

I build hours,
terribly crowded, lonely hours,
minute by minute by minute,

forgetting you 
over and over
I  hide inside myself
in some secret waiting place
far away,
close beside,
listening to songs
I remember
of you.

No one goes
or knows
or maybe even cares,
and the brook of my yesterday
is a quiet spot
humming reflections
of soft cheeks
and soft lips
and gentle bruises
and I leave,
walking lightly,
when the hurting
hurts too much.
Half a day past morning
with nowhere to go
but on.

I turn away
from the thought of you
this moment,
moving along avenues
secret from me
known only to crowds
and strangers hurrying by

unaware what miracle they've brushed.
Candy canes have melted
and colored bulbs
are wrapped in paper
to be stored in the attic
for one more year.

I walk the ache away
as best I can
searching for what
I thought I had found
in you.

Lying across my bed,
dulling off in the gentle throb
of sleep,
I hear the song of your voice
and see the hymn of your smile
though knowing my cathedral is gone.

I could still worship there,
but once I knelt on a bed of thorns
and my knees have hurt
ever since.

Knees almost never forget.
Hush now, hush ...
  we've done nothing wrong ...

It was only this ...

only that we must bring
to each other
whatever sweetness we have
for our affair is to be 
such a short thing ...

over no sooner than it takes
the flame of a match
to ignite and disappear.

There, there ...
lay your head on my breast
if you must weep ...

do not fret, darling 

it was the only thing of beauty
I had to offer
and I wanted so badly
for you to be happy.

Shhhh ....

hush now ... hush ...
And one night

I stood on tip-toe

waving my goodbye

not knowing

my heart was about to spill

all over the place

where he

would never

walk again.
I came here alone,
sliding along some misplaced beam ...
gathering moon as I went.

I knew when I came
it would not be long,
a ferris wheel ride
in a rocking chair ...
and I see much,
but it passes quickly
and it's all so blurred.

I'll go alone
when I finally go,
reeling from the speed
and the senselessness of it all.

Was it worth a quarter?
And, mostly,
will you share it with me?
Just for now?
Leaves are falling now,
orange and brown ...
everything looks cold

and lonely.

Children are coming 
home from school,
stomping boat leaves,
frightening the birds,
jackets unzipped and flapping.

Watching through the window
I sometimes wonder
where all the children were
when I was a child.

I must have thought 
the shadows safe for hiding
as I groped strange hands,
turned coy smiles aside from theirs,
pressed forward into
a familiar fragrance
and held back
what I had already lost.

I searched for kindness
in cool eyes
and tasted lips
for something I might recognize
and take home with me.

But I was lonesome
and waiting
until you.


I can't remember waiting for you
I can only remember the emptiness ...

I was alone
  listening to night sounds
  in the day,
following the rain
  wherever it fell,
facing into the wind,
waiting for green lights,
catching the tempo of the crowd
with my steps ...
going nowhere in particular ...

My quiet rooms
and gentle places
were safe inside my mind ...

There were parties
and party people ...

Sometimes a smile or hasty kiss
was my quiet room ...

but I was waiting. 
Long fields
are golden ...

the grasses grow pale.
Hear on the wind
of small leaves falling ...

When you wish love

in the strength of forests
youth blows beautifully 

and yielding is part of it
Up the narrow stairway
one step at a time
and closer ...
up into night
fresh with the scent
of together ...
to our room of music and mattress,
of lavender dog and broken light
watching us
upside down ...

Our walls know autumns of their own,
cherry boats put out to harbor,
through the window,
into leaves,
full sail to a sky of pale
and budding sprigs of stars


somewhere beyond the streetlight
fields grow tall
with the sound of our laughter.

Here in my room
I'll dream us a world
so warm with loving
it will last us a lifetime
or at least
throughout the night.

Night shadows lengthen
going home to dawn ...
and while it changes its robe
I turn a thousand times
to you, beside me.

Beyond our window
fields hold court
with crickets
and weeds simmer
under the blue lid
of three o'clock fog.

Stars grow dim,
pale angels sleeping
in their velvet chamber ...

I hold you with my eyes
knowing you'll soon be gone
and that my watching
won't change things
any more than I could keep night
once the sun has come.

For a thousand years
  I've loved you ...

I've strung the pearls of patience
and watched giraffes at the zoo -
and I've loved you.
I've lain with my head
  on your chest,
atop a cliff where,
like fat lizards,
we soaked up sun
  against each other,
and I loved you.

I've watched the beggar night
steal across the city,
creep in through windows
and slip across housetops,
watched it come
with its velvet bag
of peppermint stars,
tossing them against the sky,
waiting for the
  gray coins of dawn -
and I've loved you.


I've watched you in a crowd
standing alone
with your eyes away from me,
and my hand ached to reach out,
to touch the familiar places
they know so well ...
and they loved you
separate from all my other
kinds of loving ...

I've held my breath 
against the curiosity
of your palm,
not wanting to frighten away
the tenderness of your touch ...
watched your gentle lovemaking,
held it cautiously,
daring not to ask
if you have ever
loved me, too ...
Today is for sale
no one lives here.

Weeds grow tall
shadows deep
and yesterdays are still
lying around

Very quiet ...
few echoes ...
only the sound
of loneliness

ticking through the still ...
All poems are excerpts from the book 
Alone is Such a Long, Long Time

Available in print through Amazon 
and as a Kindle ebook
Alone is Such a Long, Long Time 
In her hauntingly insightful book, Esther Luttrell's lyrical poetry takes its reader to the deepest, most passionate, corner of a lover's world.