Diane Frank


In memory, everything is green –
aurora glowing in the sky over a mountain.
Green light filling a room,
tropical leaves in the greenhouse.
Green love, a green hill,
sliding with friends on cafeteria trays
down a path of snow.
We were green in our knowledge of the world,
on our backs, in the amphitheater
under a sky show of stars.

Through a telescope from an attic window,
my first view of the rings of Saturn.
In a blizzard during a snow storm,
my first ride in a snow mover with giant wheels.
In the stacks of the University library,
I was always searching for poets with women’s names –
Diane Di Prima, Adrienne Rich, Denise Levertov.

In the house on the other side of Thornden Park,
he dreamed of intricate, interweaving harmonies;
I dreamed about my father.
Music and moonlight through a stained glass window.
Later, I watched an artist friend
sew legs on the bottom of a painting of two women
when she ran out of canvas.
The women leaned into the colors
the sky turns before the light disappears.

Everything on an impulse –
jump into the green VW bug,
drive to Niagara Falls at night
to see the moonbow on tumbling water –
a shimmering silver-white arc.
In April, drive to Key West
during spring vacation,
sleep on the beach
with the salty blue ocean crashing
into our dreams.

Everyone too absorbed in self discovery
to understand the ocean of tears
that fell out of what they touched
and let go of.
Climbing ladders and scaffolds
of buildings under construction.
We were under construction.
Yes, our lives were like that –
green in those days.

DIANE FRANK is author of eight books of poems, two novels, and a photo memoir of her 400 mile trek in the Himalayas. While Listening to the Enigma Variations: New and Selected Poems will be published by Glass Lyre Press in 2021. She lives in San Francisco, where she dances, plays cello, and creates her life as an art form. Her friends describe her as a harem of seven women in one very small body. Diane teaches at San Francisco State University and Dominican University. She also plays cello in the Golden Gate Symphony.