About Kathleen Ripley Leo
Kathleen Ripley Leo

The Circle is AssembledThe Old Ways

Town One South


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by Kathleen Ripley Leo

One month this summer it hardly rained at all, so,
one late bright afternoon, with a full burst of sunlight behind my back,
I played with my watering hose sprinkling my brown grass
in the reluctant hope of resurrecting it to the promise of green health,
much as we hope to resurrect the promise of convivial commitment
in those we need to forgive, be they family,
or former friends, or even the lackluster child within.

I sprayed the water first to the right and then to the left,
noticing how in the movement of the small tightly woven drops of water,
small like the tight on-going commitments we make to those we love,
the colors shied out, a grateful study in refraction of the sun's perfect light,
with less of the rainbow disclosed than was obviously able.     
Rainbows thus fashioned are more like an eighth of a moon in size
than a quarter moon, and if I got the sunlight glancing just right,
only the red side showed itself instead of the yellow side.
So I wanted more, and I moved the hose up, then down and
fashioned a one sided rainbow, like a glittering half moon.

This rainbow-making, both in quarter and half moon size, it was my usual
understanding with the sun:  the sun provides the light spectrum,
I provide the raindrops, and if I quickly moved the hose
in a tight circle round and round, with the bursting sun falling over my right shoulder,
the entire circle of rainbow was revealed, a bright, shining vulnerable
full moon.

I think at a sentimental time like this,
how actions speak louder than words,
how quickly losses, like the other half of the rainbow, are restored, then
lost again,       
and once lost, easily given back to us.
We train our sight to perceive only fleeting but abundant glimpses
of the color, which like an argument with a stone, allows no conversation,
nothing from which to fashion the foundation upon which sweet truth will 
and in full-front nudity lounge, fully aware of our attempts to clothe it
in veils.
I wonder, where do these sweet truths truly come from:
is their cornucopia of color hidden in the air, like the rainbow,
like the invisible tug of my lover's thought of me,
are they embedded invisibly around me, or are they in quite another universe,      
and had I found the watery door to it, and had I let it out, if only for a

Kathleen Ripley Leo
(c) 2000 Leo

Other featured poems by Kathleen Ripley Leo

Pole Barn
Nawrot-Aron Poems
Where Truth Lies

Foot Massage
Flower Picture
Up, Over the Steep Hill
The Familiar
The Kiss