Monday, August 17, 2015

To pick a sprig of mint . . .

A long time ago, when I used to travel in airplanes 
and always asked for the window seat, I saw
the San Francisco Bay from the sky.


I summoned Christopher Columbus.
At the hour of the wolf,
He came out of the gloom
Looking a little like my father.

On this particular voyage
He discovered nothing.
The ocean I gave him had no end.
And the ship – an open suitcase.

He was thoroughly lost.
I had forgotten to provide the stars.
Sitting in the dark with a bottle in its hand.
He sang a song from his childhood.

In the song the day was breaking.
A barefoot girl
Stepped over the wet grass
To pick a sprig of mint.

And then nothing –
Only the wind rushing off with a screech
As if it just remembered
Where it’s going, where it’s been.

Charles Simic

Classic Ballroom Dances
Braziller, 1980, page 36.

Where have your travels taken you lately? 
I hope you had time to pick a sprig of something aromatic. 

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