Monday, January 16, 2017

In The Pauper's Mine



I—in my grave,
and death wandering over me,
wondering where I went.
If I was even remotely clever,
I would be there still.

There was a tall hill where death lived,
and he struck out at night,
looking for rather unwanted
or wanton individuals,
looking for scrap iron.

The miner left to work in a pauper’s mine,
his apple slices browned,
there were no gems in the ceiling,
there were no wine glasses with tall stems,
just the draughts and the dark.

I had buried gold under the cedar, and he dug it up.
What would he do with a lace doily?
Why would he trace its quiet pattern?
The table was old, as the oil in the olive hills,
and the missionaries left for Mount Song.

“Cheep, cheep,” said the yellow canary—
she was ready to die if need be,
with a soft molten lava heart,
fluttering in the chickweed.

Nothing free is ever cheap.
Nothing cheap is ever free.