Today's poem is by Erin Belieu

At Last

          In this story
                    no one dies

and no one's left living
                    in a cardboard box.

And the laughing owls
          that squat in the trees above
                              your neighborhood

          still cackle to themselves nightly,
                    a synchronized posse
                                        of madwomen

committed to the skeletal pines.

          In the end, what you loved moves
                    to Brooklyn. That's all.

                              And if there's recompense,

                    it comes to you, impartial as
                              the nanny's hand into

her charge's honeycomb of fever.
          It comes to remind you

                    that even the millionth tragedy
                              went uncelebrated the day

the world was born. No cake.
                    No sacred confetti—

          it just toddled away
to roll down someone else's hill.

Consider all the paintings gathered
          in the world's great museums—

                    what collects there
                              but the manuals of chaos,

frescoes of bad faith displayed
          between a few innocuous

                              landscapes? —

the outraged sisters of Lucrece
          bleeding and wailing or

                    John the Baptist, served up on silver—

always the same betrayals dressed
                    in period costume.

          But the day comes,
                    with or without you, when

the tea olive waving its arms
          over the back fence puts up

its white-flowered fuss again, arguing
                    for sweetness.

Copyright © 2007 Erin Belieu All rights reserved
from Black Box
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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