Today's poem is by Marvin Bell


If you twist a rope
twist it and twist it
no matter how long a rope it is
after a while you cannot make one more turn
without skinning your palms
and burning the backs of your knuckles
and if you lift one hand from the rope
to get a better grip
the whole thing springs back
toward its most direct shape
its original being
with the fury of a coiled spring
at having been diverted from its purpose.
Every fiber of its being
rolls over on its back
the way molecules according to science
align themselves magnetically.
It is instructive to imagine that
the atoms in a rope
know where they belong
when you see those sad pieces of twine
that retail clerks wind around
boxes of socks and drinking glasses,
from which broken strands seem to reproduce
and under which the box strains outward.
And it is comforting to acknowledge it
when the molecules of a husband align themselves
with those of a wife
and the iron filings on the desk
connect the two ends of a horseshoe magnet underneath
as the moon follows the earth
forever in darkness.

Copyright © 2004 Marvin Bell All rights reserved
from Rampant
Copper Canyon Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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