Thursday, November 16, 2006
This One is Worth Another Look
The Blue Willow Curse
-------------by Robert Thomas
You and your Pavarotti carols, your four-wheel drive,
heading through the snow to Aunt Marcella’s,
aren’t you ever satisfied? Do you need a retinue
of angels, hard-wired? You’re so preoccupied,
thinking of the imminent novena for Our Lady
of Kansas City, Our Lady of Baby Back Ribs,
planning your side dish. Isn’t there enough
hunger in your own backyard, wiping his boots
on the welcome mat, saddle-soaping his hands?
Yes, Ma’am, don’t mind if I do. You can’t get
enough, can you, of his knuckles bruised
on the hardware, of his manners of rust.
May a twisted wind blow every saucer and bowl
of blue willowware from its shelf on your hutch
until you eat from an iron pan. May the pan melt
on a forgotten burner and the smell fill your house
while you dream of black rain and your house burns
so that every photograph of your mother and father,
all evidence of their dire existence and the existence
of the elm that overhung their porch and every moth
that fluttered on their screen at dusk, every postcard
every thank-you note from a niece every love letter
from a soldier or hack or taxidermist or perfect fool
is ash and every particle of ash is alone,
in a shimmering hush you’ll never know.
First published in Field.