Sunday, January 25, 2009

were it not for the rain

I've been re-reading Li-Young Lee lately, discovering that there are beautiful poems that I glossed over before. This is part of one of my current favorites.

from The Weepers

I'd lean against this tree, and admire the beauty
of the weeping girls, the marble
twins who kneel together above a grave,
their white backs bent
in grief, their draped clothing conforming
here and there to the curve
of a breast, a thigh, while live
roses lie in their laps.

There have been times when I
was the one on the left,
hands folded between her knees,
withdrawn, almost inconsolable,
and times when I was the other,
who embraces her sister, kisses her
on the round shoulder.
At any time, both
live in me,
like sister branches of one tree,
the comforter and the comforted.
I am the father who comforts
his son, and I am the son
who returns in later years to give succor
to his father. I am the one
who walks among the dead,
and the one who waits
at home with warm bread and milk,
the way, I know, someone waits for me.

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