Ronda Lawson


Ronda Lawson

One paw below
one empty mouth.
One turn
before it all comes down.
One breath.
One chance.
One thin line between.
One loss.
One little soul
in fur.
© 2007 Ronda Lawson

The greatest loves the world has known
the world has never known.
Love is private, love is rare,
and blossoms best alone
in quiet moments that amuse,
in silly, two-shared laughs,
and not in public interviews
or much-used photographs.
That second no one else can share,
that look in someone's eyes
that somehow says I know you care
and steps past others' lies.
You may be able, now and then,
to let the world come near
and see the way they think you've been,
or hear what they might hear.
It doesn't matter, in the end,
what loves the world has known.
If you have your hand-holding friend
you'll know what's never shown.
So marry now, and go and live,
and hold each other tight;
I wish you what the world can't give,
your love and time and light.
Ronda Lawson

Seattle Sonnet

I want to go again and stand. To go
to all the places that before I didn’t know,
but now know well enough at least to nod
in passing recognition. Seeing all the odd
but now oddly familiar quirks of place
that gave the city, from within, its unique face
mirrored in the sun. Once then, I had a wish
to see Pike’s Place, and watch a fish
go flying. And a dream; to cross the Sound
and share with gulls the skyline curving round.
I had not thought to stand against the wind
and watch an island near, and call it friend;
or stand along a pier and lift my hand
to wave at waves that tiptoe to the land.
I wonder, in my absence, what will change.
Would I now go to some café and find it strange?
The art gone from the walls? The sparrow who
delighted me now flown? I knew
before I came here, I would find
more memories in the making than the kind
of well-bred visiting I planned. I now abhor
the thought of things that are no more;
the places where I slept and drank and ate
are somehow sacred. Most of all I hate
the thought that when I do return
I’ll be a stranger, and will have to learn
to love Seattle all over again.

-(c) 2000 Ronda Lawson

The Closet Poet

I wore my favorite jeans and thirty-year-old
cowboy boots, still good, and asked you if
you thought I looked the way you thought
a poet should. You said you didn’t know
what poets looked like, and I wondered
if I dressed my nakedness so well that
we no longer saw me. I could tell my mirror
showed the eyes of me, so I put on my lipstick,
with that age-old puckered face that women get
and for a small reflected space forgot what we were
looking for and saw instead the stains inside. It’s all
just costumes, I suppose, and now I finger
through my clothes and wonder, should I wear
Ralph Lauren or a sonnet? You said that I
looked fine. I’ll take your word for it, I think, instead
of mine, because you were so honest
and you don’t know how a poet looks. I thought
I did, but mirrors lie, like photographs and
lovers’ eyes, and I don’t know what poets look
like either. And it doesn’t matter anyway. I’ll
dress in vintage verbage and we’ll go and face
the day. And eventually I’ll see myself as cold
and bare and stark as any well-dressed poet does
alone and in the dark.

(c) 2004 Ronda Lawson