Friday, October 08, 2004

The Listener

"Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word," he said.

And so he sat down on the porch and rested. The silence came back, and curled around him like a cat's tail. For the truth was, he had nowhere to go.

Their stillness answering his cry. But answers, such answers he could get anywhere. That was the answer the girl by the stream gave him, averting her eyes and hurrying away. The answer the sky gave him, at dusk, along with its perfunctory benediction of a sprinkle of rain. The answer his leather wine-bottle gave him, when he turned it upside down, all its other answers exhausted.

In the poem, I ride away, he thought. That's what makes it a fine poem, but it's also what makes it a lie. I have no other business with anybody, if They have no business with me.

No comments: