Today's poem is by R. T. Smith


At the writing table
my sinews tighten,
and a cricket in the sugarbush
is mourning. He is sawing

a cradle and a coffin,
and if he fell forever silent
tonight and went simply rigid
as the soil settled,

green debris rotting
to form a seam of coal
around him, his angles could
be pressed indelibly

into what might resemble
a stone. Someone centuries
from now, if anyone is left,
might unearth a fossil

to find in its insect
outline a symbol and say,
This is a letter deep
in the alphabet of some ancient

civilization going where?

from Messenger
Louisiana State University Press

Copyright © 2001 R. T. Smith All rights reserved
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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