Saturday, April 6, 2019

Barefoot On Old Snow I Compose An Elegy For A Stranger

Past midnight walking
Barefoot on old snow, translucent
Callous as the full moon.
An ancient woman from Fukien
Down the block
Once talked the winter’s ear off.
All angles and spittle her Chinese rage
I imagined a thousand broken
Chopsticks frozen mid-air
Suspended beneath
Moonbeams of pale silk.
How I miss this stranger!
What age, I wonder
Does the smallest absence
Change everything?
Gibberish to me and yet
Now it starves this silence.
There were rumors,
Unknowable pain, unbearable loss
Some said
She’s just singing.
A winter song of madness?
My toes are numb;
My feet too far from shoes.
I sing for her.

 - - James Anderson

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