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About this poet

Rose Styron is the author of four poetry collections: Fierce Day (Friesen Press, 2015), By Vineyard Light (Rizzoli, 1995), Thieves' Afternoons (Viking, 1973), and From Summer to Summer (Viking, 1965). She has written introductions to Letters to My Father (Lousiana State University Press, 2009), a collection of letters written by her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Styron, to his father, and The Selected Letters of William Styron (Random House, 2012), which she edited. Also a human rights activist, Styron has traveled widely for Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. She lives on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

February 14th

Valentine's Day,
our first apart.
Are you not coming back?
Where do I put this paper heart?

The snow, the sleet last night
this morning's year
whites-out out world.
They said you'd reappear

once I let you go
got rid of history's mess
(the noise, the clutter I created)
said you'd return to bless

a quiet life
share it again with me
lend me one more swift chance
to perfectly

tell you how long I've loved
and not let pride
or fear from decades past
lure me to hide

my need, my hope
or lately, fresh desire.
Strange: thopse weeks, our words,
how you'd admire

some silly thing I'd done
outfit I'd wear
fresh thought or
my unruly hair.

Earlier seasons, you had not,
but now you'd say
over and over,
as that day

in ancient Rome: I love you.
What wild sweet flight
what daring ride we ended.
Was I right

to let you go? How can
the earth make sense?
Chilled cardinals huddle here

and lightfooted horses
black-paied at our fence.

From Fierce Day by Rose Styron. Copyright © 2015 by Rose Styron. Reprinted by permission of the author.

From Fierce Day by Rose Styron. Copyright © 2015 by Rose Styron. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Rose Styron

Rose Styron is the author of four poetry collections: Fierce Day (Friesen Press, 2015), By Vineyard Light (Rizzoli, 1995), Thieves' Afternoons (Viking, 1973), and From Summer to Summer (Viking, 1965). She has written introductions to Letters to My Father (Lousiana State University Press, 2009), a collection of letters written by her husband, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer William Styron, to his father, and The Selected Letters of William Styron (Random House, 2012), which she edited.

by this poet

poem

No one’s awake
but us, and a bird.
The day’s too beautiful
to speak a word.

poem

Goodnight, great summer sky
world of my childhood and the star-struck sea.

White chaise from that ancestral southern
porch my raft,
white goose-down quilt my ballast,
under Orion on the green-waved lawn
I float, high—
new moon, old craft
tide strong as ever to the sheer

poem
The world tonight is clear,
if only for an hour

Orion's belt encircling us,
the far indigo ocean
thundering near

and I remember
rain the alley
no shortcut home.