Words wait in the grain
Oak, cut by a Roman axe
10 centuries before, a slab hand carved to fit
one Visigothic arch over a passage, leading
to the library built by Moors,
impenetrable, wood half-a-hand’s width
and stained on a ship.
Words, too many to decipher
draft up in the alcove, a welcome (or do
they scour from the valley in warning?)
whispered fast and low, across the ear
when turned just so listen….
But the hinge holds the power-
forged on the streets of Segovia
in war-time, the metalsmith’s
proud stamp–King or commoner’s-
invites fingers all the same, to trace
rings of power, sinews of conquest
a hand- hammered history, eternal on the anvil,
and cold to the touch
A turned key enables us to see, swivels the way,
where wrought iron yields.
And when once one’s weight is plied in full
against that slab, the hinge abides, swings, allows
and in those precious seconds, with an ear
pressed tight against wood, one hears
words ingrained, spoken clear
when door is louder than a seashell.
Tara Linda, 2012