Today's poem is by Jude Nutter

The Soul Exploring the Recesses of the Grave
etching by Louis Schiavonetti, after William Blake

And so the soul, with a single candle, slips
timidly in where it does not belong, dressed

in a thin shift, without shoes. And why
should it not be curious about the fate

belonging to the body alone. We are not told
that the soul is timid: we are taught that it rises

at the slightest chance,
letting its pedestrian companion go, happily

and with purpose. But how could it not be timid,
faced with its own existence forever.

I think the soul would gladly relinquish
the burden of its immortality

and sit down, here in the one home the body
can afford, pull that thin shift over its knees and wait

in the light of that single candle, diminutive lamp
of the mortal world. We are not told

that the soul is faithful, but why else
would it be found here, trespassing in the ruins.

Copyright © 2003 Jude Nutter All rights reserved
from Pictures of the Afterlife
Salmon Poetry / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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