I DO NOT TOUCH YOU – Jessica Powers

Beautiful is this tree with its glossy leaves,

with Pentecost still playful in its branches.

I do not touch it with inquiring hand

nor break off fiery bloom to shout hosanna in my window,

nor wrench it up to root again, gay as pageant in my land.

Let it stand.


You whom I love I do not touch with even a dreamed


nor is this poem for you; I carry it past

your open door in a basket of secrecy.

I do not point you out as loved, nor speak about you or

  to you

save, out of your hearing, once, that lone imperative

of all true lovers:   be.


I leave you in the innocence of your being,

joyful and I possessing.

My claiming, out of time, will dearer be.

And innocence, that concentrate of peace,

spreads like the haze of a soft summer noon

and encircles me.

–Jessica Powers