Monday, January 31, 2011

The night's thousand sisters


The Same Question

Three owls ask over and over, there
on the bare moonslivered limb.
Eventually, one foolish mouse will
answer and that will be that.

I lie in the dark answering to no one,
the question posing and reposing,
each silence different than the one
before. I answer Mary and Rebecca,

Jan and Celestina, the one whose name
is seldom uttered in the light of day
anymore, she of the visiting dreams
and odd coincidences I tell no one of.


Camlen and Jenny, son, mother, the
night's thousand sisters who bear
the brunt of mercy doggedly into
the dawn. Out in the oaks, they ask

again, this time with one less voice.
The meadow is lighter by an ounce
of carelessness, the scurry filled in
by accommodating crickets that

shovel gravel the long night through.
Somewhere, in my studio, a tiny snap
breaks the bleak and I source it quickly.
Something is laying waste to something

on a shelf too high for it to be there.
I listen. It continues. Cubbied mouse
bones kept there, taken and cleaned
from owl scat. I venture an irony:

a mouse is rooting through my things
and has come across a long dead cousin.
I find a reverence I did not know I had
and stand down, grieving in kind, head

bowed for all those who have gone the
way no answer may follow, the many
still sought in dark places where even
thin moons dare not pass too recklessly.

Joseph Gallo
January 27, 2011



Blogger Kyle parried...

Joseph, this is excellent work. It's very mindful and patient, developing gracefully. Introspective. Lovely. Thanks!

February 02, 2011 9:40 AM  
Blogger Joseph Gallo parried...

You've become the sole commenter on these most uncommentarial posts, my friend. I always appreciate your reactions and analysis of some of these poems because I always learn something from them and from you.

I continue to attract readers from all over the world, some by design, others by accident, but the comments have fallen off sharply. Which is fine by me, so long as folk find their way and scrum a few morsels that might confer some poetic nutrient or another. ;-)

Thanks again, Kyle. :-)

February 03, 2011 1:05 PM  

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