Wednesday, December 29, 2010

219. After Snowmelt

puddle of a sequence

or take a puddle
in a sequence of the day

where the puddle was
how you came upon it
with what degree of trepidation
did you approach it?

a puddle made
of snow melted
snow fallen
into water and mud
snow pushed by plow
into it Do you imagine

the puddle has no end to it?
that it is deep
beyond comprehension?
something that might
take the whole world in?

(If this were a dream
there would be a danger
of your disappearing
down that hole

so be relieved that
this is only a poem
and you’ll probably not
encounter a puddle
anytime soon.

The puddle is just
a metaphor for
anything that might
befall a person.)

[The idea here
is that something
strangely white,
naturally “clean,”
something that covers,
could be transformed
into

something dark, of a different
physical nature, something
that hides, a trap that might
hold us, something that
reflects our deepest fear:
not being able to breathe.

There is no puddle that
burrows deep into the earth,
no puddle anyone could
disappear into. That is only
a fear that dreaming brings,
nothing real. But what is
actually real is whatever
we believe, because those
beliefs allow us to
interpret the world and
the dangers within it.]

{I’m digressing,
I think, because
this letter is meant
to be a letter of good wishes
for the future.

The puddle is merely
an image to open
the letter, an image
that suddenly occurred
to me, and one
I thought could carry me
through the writing
of the entire poem. It couldn’t,
because the image
wasn’t right, even though
I still find it interesting
and even though
I enjoyed the language I created
with it, more so than
these words, which I use
only for rhetorical purposes,
not ones of imagistic
or aural beauty.}

—so I write
these words, frag-
ments of what
they should be,
to you, as I’ve
written to all
the others who
will be leaving
us, against their
will, because
the least you
should know is

that a puddle
is something
you step over

on your way
someplace
else—

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