1980, Spring: Poem for Jay

Marcy wrote three versions of this poem, on a “War is not healthy for children and other living things” notecard. The first two versions are labeled “A poem in the Chinese style for an image of Eric.” (Jay tells me that Eric was the son of Marcy’s cousins Harriet and Jack. I have no memory of Eric.)

The third version, below, is labeled “a better version, for Joaquin.”

Jay’s copy of the poem is dated “Spring 1980,” so I’m dating this as April, 1980, for purposes of putting the letters in chronological order.

The mention of “foothills” may refer to Foothills Park, near Palo Alto. (Where we later scattered Marcy’s ashes.)

This doesn’t appear to have been mailed to anyone. I wonder if it was among her things when she died, and if George and Helen therefore ended up with it. I found it mixed in with the rest of these letters.

As far as I know, Marcy didn’t often write poetry; this is the only poem of hers that I know of, aside from a Milton parody in a 1971 letter.

My usual approach to this sort of thing would be to include all three versions of the poem, including the crossed-out bits, as a way to digitally preserve the card as accurately as possible. But I think in this particular case, I’m more interested in preserving the final version than in showing how it evolved. So below is what appears to have been the final version, leaving out crossed-out parts.

My heart longs for the green hills,

For the high green foothills where we flew our kites

Our dragon lords soared the skies, rode the sea-wind

Ruled our hearts, soaring and diving

Was it a year ago?

Today the hills are green again

The wind calls out for a kite to caress

But spring comes to the flatlands, too

Where I remain, sedately viewing the wisteria

While my dragon lord lives folded in his box.

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