When the river flooded, when
I was a child, I boated
around the fields. And so it began,
my myth-making. I recall that altered time
foremost. I float.
over the world — the time of evening when
I can have a drink, being in love,
the lyric way of speaking — that’s what
I’ve turned out to live for.
Though I know what’s more worthy
is the solid ground
and those who stood
on and worked it. My mother
would have been chopping
food she’d grown in those fields
while I was drifting over them.
I was heading out beyond
the sounds unintentionally but always
made by cooking —
not a special bell, no lifting song,
the economical and earthly summons.
There must have been, as every night,
the clunk of cast iron and a heavy meal
I was little help in preparing.
But what struck me
was the rarity: watching a lost garden.
The leaves wafted, the rounds
of fruits that had hung,
though ruined, were buoyant now.
Broken by refraction, they changed
to baubles I wanted.
The flood was a costumer, a jeweler.
And the way water cut ordinary sights,
that was appealing labor:
making stone toss about weightless light.about the author