WOMAN IN THE DESERT
I saw a woman standing in the desert.
Standing on a slab of rock balanced
on top of a big boulder that gave support.
The woman stood straight on that slab
and held both her hands straight up.
She raised her right foot up her left
leg as if she were making a figure four.
This woman was balanced on her boulder
so well she was standing at the very center
of her universe. She did not move. Stood
very still. From far away I could see her
and she was also part of my universe
though I was not standing in the desert
then but had stood in the hot desert
a few times before. But I felt I could have
been standing there with her, in some
other life I may have once lived. I may
not have been in such beautiful balance
as she was but different people find
different kinds of balance they can
bring to someone else. Or receive
from someone else they know or might
not know. I have come to feel that
the universe opens us at the right time
to see and feel such scenes that speak
to us and give us the kind of balance we
need to walk or stand in our own way.
Norbert Krapf, former Indiana Poet Laureate, is the author of fourteen poetry collections, including the recent Indiana Hill Country Poems and Southwest by Midwest. This year two of his books are to be released, Spirit Sister Dance, a collection of poems, and a prose memoir that covers the fifty years of his writing and publishing life, Homecomings: A Writer’s Memoir. He has released a jazz and poetry CD with pianist-composer Monika Herzig, Imagine, and performs poetry and blues with Indiana bluesman Gordon Bonham. He has translated a collection of legends from his ancestral Franconia, Beneath the Cherry Sapling, and a collection of his translations of selected early poems by Rainer Maria Rilke, Shadows on the Sundial. He has also edited a collection of pioneer German journals and letters, including some by his ancestors, Finding the Grain.