For Rebecca

Walking in the woods,
I thought we were close to home,
but you were somewhere else, entirely.
The Serengeti, maybe.

There were giraffes everywhere,
though I had to confess
I did not see any.
Well.  Some people

you told me, are color-blind,
and some people are detail-blind,
and some people are giraffe-blind.
And you are giraffe-blind.

These grownup eyes.
Strained from trying to keep
All the grownup things
in sight.

At least
I am not detail-blind.
Your list of afflictions
holds a large measure of hope.

Teach me to see giraffes.
I crave them everywhere:
the deep bowing
of impossible neck,

bodies moving
in defiance of gravity.
Serene obsidian eyes.
I want to discover them while walking

in the woods, like long ago
when I could see more, when I knew the feel
of air always drenched
with magic.

I am not convinced
the memory of those days
is enough. Once in a while I want
the veil to lift for a second or two.

There is this:
the air is wet with something
and still now
I see trees—

taller, even
than the giraffes.
Arms stretched to heaven,
pulling in light.


A violinist by training, Karen Kubin works as a free-lance musician, teacher, and conductor in a small Midwestern city. Her poems and essays have appeared in Whale Road Review, Rock & Sling, Off the Coast, How to Pack for Church Camp, and American Suzuki Journal, among other publications, as well as in the recent Main Street Rag Anthology, Of Burgers and Barrooms. She blogs occasionally about life, art, and other things at