The Gingerbread Lady for Miriam
for the Gingerbread Lady
in the Gingerbread House
with the bright yellow flowers
and the bright yellow hair
and the bright yellow sunshine
in your backyard
and in the antique
teapot and the cracked
plates
in your yellow kitchen
cabinet

You
were the muse
for more than one small
generation
of no small family, my lover
who never met you
or your Gingerbread House
drove by that eucalyptus-lined
cul de sac
the day before you died
thinking of you.

You
were the muse
for an entire tribe
of poets, we
think of you now
presiding over a table
laden high with piles of paintings, books, grapes,
slices of cheese, crackers,
red wine, your
yellow hair
now white
still gleaming
for the painter
of that Great Panel
on the Wall of Heaven.

You are sitting now, with him
the crippled poet
whose voice rang out
across the skies
like a thousand stars
who sang me out of death
who called me back
from the nether regions
of the Holocaust
to lie here in the rain
in the dark, under
the willow trees
by the side of the Lute-maker
from Ohio
and celebrate
red wine and yellow
hair and great bunches
of wild flowers and people
marching through
the streets, no matter what
the reason & to celebrate
that leap off the cliff
of Santa Maura

the poet whose song reached me
where I was captured
and held
on the other side
whose song reached across
the chasms of
meaninglessness
because of his luminous
love
for you

You are sitting, with him
again
at the head of the table
offering some wide-eyed child
a platter
of Gingerbread
and delivering some
sharp-tongued reply
to some opiated
idol- maker
reminding us all
that no God
can ever
compete
with the bright, bright yellow
of the sunshine
in this world.

- Anna Wolfe
03/08/00

to Moongate