I wrote this poem for my sister-in-law last summer when she was very kind to me at a difficult time. “An der Ringkirche” is the street where she lives, and ‘Ringkirche’ means “the church near the ring.” You can see a gorgeous, almost magical 19th-century church right outside the window of their apartment building. This poem tries to describe a moment when a small gesture made me feel truly loved.
June 1-An der Ringkirche
After months of struggle
in this hard interior country
I am landed here–
a clean sunlit room with one white orchid,
and air that rings round and rich
with cathedral bells.
In the center of the glass table
someone I love has left a gift–
pale gold perfume.
When I spray it into the sunlight
it makes a living glimmering cloud,
and as I step through it I breathe, Yes.
Yes: it can be as easy as this.