Thursday, January 11, 2007

learning the secrets of time

I originally posted this poem on March 25 of last year, but I am reposting it so that I can enter it in The Zero Boss's Blogging For Books contest this month.



learning the secrets of time

he tells his father he has been here before,
sitting cross-legged on the gray carpet,
eating from a bowl of cinnamon oatmeal,
the inevitable summer sky beyond the window,
watching the same scene of Wile E. Coyote
painting a tunnel onto a wall of flat rock

his father explains that time is a rope
so long we cannot see the ends, that it stretches
through a vast room with no visible walls,
and we can only move along the rope
in one direction, forward, so it is not possible
to have experienced this moment before now

the boy nods, takes the empty bowl
to the kitchen and walks out the back door,
sees the same familiar sun repeating
its daily arc across the sky, and
at that moment he notices the still body
of a young starling fallen from its nest

he stares at the broken creature
in his small hands, buries the bird beneath
the Chinese maple, knowing he will relive
this scene many times, every detail held
within knotted strands of blue yarn
placed as a cross on the fresh grave


[This poem originally appeared in Crab Creek Review, Winter/Spring 2000]


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