Judging by the snow on the ground, this week’s poem might come too soon, but the calendar tells us that spring is coming, sooner or later, and with it, wildflowers, birds, mud and, of course, ticks. Usually a palimpsest refers to a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the traces of some previous writing can be seen. Here, the palimpsest is the skin of two people who’ve loved each other for many years.

Tom Moore has published three collections, “The Bolt Cutters,” “Chet Sawing” and “Saving Nails.” He lives with his wife, Leslie, an artist and writer, in Belfast.

Palimpsest

By Thomas R. Moore

How immodest we are

for the deer-tick check,

surveying mysteries,

displaying imperfections.

Such stuff, we laugh,

is for the shower

or the dermatologist,

but we strip,

offering each other

our pocks and moles,

scars and protrusions,

thirty years after love’s

first shy scouting

expeditions.

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is Portland’s poet laureate. This column is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2015 Thomas R. Moore. It appeared in RIVER STYX #93 and appears here by permission of the author.