Aberdeen Rose

for Mary

Douglas W. Gray

Every seven years the skin
has been renewed...

You trail one's blood
in your hand,

a toddle that is
far from my genesis.

I assume the language
of your body,
vowels in a tunnel as we pass.

How much we differ
from an imprint of lips,
fingering contours...

Among the bells
of Union Street
autumn leaves today —
no silver, but the granite
that is me.

Tonight, were I to scrub,
something will not
wash away.