Tuesday, October 23, 2007
A man sells his small windows and his door,
set in the walls of the small house where he lives;
he sells his oils and bags of grain, his horse
and his dog and his plow, his unborn daughter's
dowry and his only winter cloak; he sells his field and
the low, gnarled olive tree on the hill. The last memory
of the place he leaves is his body illuminated
and dark and illuminated and dark as he walks
past each small window, broken by morning.
A man buries a pearl in a field because its worth
is greater even than his life, and a thief would know it.
He buries the pearl and buys the field.
He builds a small house with small windows and a door.
The winter is long, and frost obscures the grave.
He buys a plow and a dog. He has a wife, and then a child.
Each spring, he works the earth, he sows a bag or two of grain.
At the end of every summer, he walks along the rows of wheat,
and waits for some accident
of autumn harvest to push up the pearl again.
In autumn, I make the right decision,
I steal back the ring
and throw it into the river. The days are
illuminated and dark and illuminated and dark,
and the winter comes on, though the river will not freeze.
My grief, like the river, moves and moves despite the cold.