Tuesday, October 26, 2010

sugar maple turn

I recently (like, yesterday) read a book by the poet/mortician Thomas Lynch, Bodies In Motion and At Rest. He speaks with eloquence, humor, and a caustic sort of understatement about death and words, how they relate and don't, what he's learned from each of them. It's quite good. I haven't read much of his poetry, but this poem was included in the book and I liked it so here it is, for you so you can hopefully enjoy it as well. He said that it arose from his solution to writer's block: take one object in your house, one object you can see from your house, one thing you read in the paper, and one thing you saw on television, and then try to relate them all.

A Note On The Rapture To His True Love

A blue bowl on the table in the dining room
fills with sunlight. From a sunlit room
I watch my neighbor's sugar maple turn
to shades of gold. It's late September. Soon...
Soon as I'm able I intend to turn
to gold myself. Somewhere I've read that soon
they'll have a formula for prime numbers
and once they do, the world's supposed to end
the way my neighbor always said it would -
in fire. I'll bet we'll all be given numbers
divisible by One and by themselves
and told to stand in line the way you would
for prime cuts at the butcher's. In the end,
maybe it's every man for himself.
Maybe it's someone hollering All Hands on
Deck! Abandon Ship! Women and Children First!
Anyway I'd like to get my hands on
you. I'd like to kiss your eyelids and make love
as if it were our last time, or the first,
or else the one and only form of love
divisible by which I yet remain myself.
Mary, folks are disappearing one by one.
They turn to gold and vanish like the leaves
of sugar maples. But we can save ourselves.
We'll pick our own salvations, one by one,
from a blue bowl full of sunlight until none is left.

1 comment:

Rosiecat said...

That's lovely, a. I like it!