Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Tendrel is a Tibetan word, variously translated as "interconnectivity," or "dependent arising": a famous emblem of it is the "endless knot." The fact that it is a homophone of the English word "tendril" is, as we say, a happy accident.

In from the rain comes a glory of red hair
Framing slack morning features;
She hums as though this restaurant
Were her own kitchen.

Hair spangled with raindrops, pouring over the shoulders
Of a faded green sweatshirt,
Curling around a mild Irish face
Of placid benevolence.

I think of the previous life we lived together
When she was passionate and Greek
And hated my drinking;
Of the life when she was

An unlucky bricklayer, and I a poisonous woman,
His culminating disaster.
And I would like to apologize
For how troublesome a child

I was, when the Swedes burned everything
The Prince Elector's troops had left
(Which wasn't much) and she my father
Tried to teach us thrift.

But each life peels cleanly from the bone.
In this life we are strangers:
She eats her breakfast, reads her magazine

Let bygones be bygones. She does not remember
And neither do I.

No comments: