Today's poem is by Jonathan Fink
And though our classic view of it is wrong,
with heavy boughs extending full to ground,
the throttled golden birds in golden trees,
the lie is still enough to grant return.
As hope, at heart, is sorrow given form
the mother over grave of only child,
to weep again his absence farther down,
beyond the grasp of darkness, sweep of rain,
believes her tears the only food he'll take.
And what is there to give but body back
to ground, bold lovers writhing even now
in primal garments' seamless flesh? She lifts
his fingers from her hair and draws his palm
across her lips, kissing underside of wrist.
No, paradise is never seen, but through
its absence, known and gone. The ancient dead,
still quarreling on river's shore, their hair
grown out to snarled manes, their paper skin,
translucent bones, still weep for pasts once owned,
and all beloved lives they held and lost.
Copyright © 2003 Jonathan Fink All rights reserved
from Southern Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 2002, 2003 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved