Today's poem is by Mark Yakich

The Teller is the Only Survivor of the Fairy-Tale Ending

On the eve of never departing at least there are no bags
to pack or last breaths to send away
with the last storybook lover. How lyrical it is

to be off to nowhere. No sore heart
nor new fist, no new heart nor sore fist,
no one soaring or sore at all.

But if I hear a pair of voices
coming between noises coming
from the guest room, it must be bedtime again:

I chase a couple one way across the ditch,
over a hill, through the neighbor's orchard and field.
I chase them back toward home,

corner the two against a fence.
Then after a lot of praying, I pull the keys
from the dead man's pocket while cupping her

breath in my hands. It sounds like a foolish thing
to do: to stop a couple of hearthrobs
between If and Then.

But telling is a terrifying
beauty, who gives and gives and gives out
prematurely. All the sadness in life

lies in the present moment.
It's not that the characters truly remember being
born, but that's The Story.

I, The Teller, promise them the future
lasts a long time. And then I head into the unending
rain with a borrowed umbrella,

one I have no intention of ever giving back.

Copyright © 2002, 2003 Mark Yakich All rights reserved
from Crazyhorse
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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