Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Doing My Job

Tom has his house to mind, and Goldberry is waiting.

The rain has stopped, and the firs stand absolutely still against the sky. Cars and trucks rumble by, but muted, as if lapped in linen and ready to be stowed in a drawer: soon they will be antiquities, curiosities, to be taken out, cleaned, and laid out on a cloth for a 22nd Century estate sale. "And look at the little retrovisor, perfectly formed!" you will exclaim, and one of those disreputable people who do show up at estate sales will snort in his beard. "Rear view mirror," he'll grunt, and you, suspecting he's saying something inappropriate, will pretend not to hear, and smile all the more brightly. A job's a job.

There are questions to be settled, I suppose. Is Mt Hood shaped like a nipple, or are nipples shaped like Mt Hood? There are mountains splitting open in fire all the time, when you're the oldest living thing in the world. You can't fuss about all of them. But still. Finger and thumb, and the heat of the world. 

I looked up "The Stolen Child," because I had remembered profundities, and the tag line about a world more full of weeping, but I found only a twee Olde Irishe Fairie poem. Is even Yeats going to fail me, at the last? Not necessarily. He can still end an argument, slapping a coin down on the bar as he goes out--

Song, let them take it 
For there’s more enterprise 
In walking naked.

Still, in all this time, the heads of the firs have not moved: they are lines traced on the paper of the sky. A testament: illegible but immutable. If a tree leaves a legacy and no one can read it, then who should be its executor? 

Well, me. That's an easy one. That's who I am, isn't it? The one who can read what other people can't. Pull my legs up underneath me, wrap the blanket tighter, and attend. I am doing my job.

1 comment:

Anne said...

I loved reading this, even though I haven't the faintest idea what it's about. It's poetry, that's all that matters.