I wasn’t expecting you,
or your arms of gentle kindness on rock hard pavements;
my days made a tumble of autumn leaves and hard won moments.

I wasn’t expecting you,
or the sudden tenderness of tumbled hair on swan soft neck;
your body, attention elsewhere, pulsing fire to meet my own.

I wasn’t expecting you,
or the held breath of love’s potential;
hope as fragile-strong as a spider’s dew-spun web on dreaming mornings.

I wasn’t expecting you,
or the surprise of sudden yearning for an almost stranger;
spirit reaching when body fears to open to the call.

I wasn’t expecting you,
or your slow care and easy smile, or the secrets held within;
shadowed layers buried deep and echoing my darkest moon songs.

I wasn’t expecting you,
or your eyes of heron-grey that wait with patient breath to dive;
perhaps to see beyond your own reflection in my tidal waters.

I wasn’t expecting you,
or your hands that, shimmering salmon scales, dance poetry
on skin-smooth river stones shining wet with wanting.

You were unexpected,
and the rose spins on its axis in answer to our song.
You were unexpected,
and my fear rises to greet you.
You were unexpected,
but I always knew you’d come.

©Jacqui Woodward-Smith (8th November–8th December 2005)