Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I have been reading the Collected Poems of Jane Kenyon. I am reading her Collected Poems on Greywolf Press. They are comforting in a New England menutia sort of way and good to read as the weather is getting nicer outside. I had never read her before this week. I know Chareles Simic like Jane Kenyon. She lived in New Hamppshire and was a fox. The poem below is a response to her poem of the same name, which I liked a lot.

The Guest

For Jane Kenyon

Through the hole in the screen door comes the guest. I am the kitchen, swearing. He is spinning his wheels, making a play, for what I do not know. He dives in and about, coming close to the cave entrance of my mind where he knows he’s not aloud. I swipe at him, crunching his body like a cornflake. For a moment I am proud, then elsewhere. Days later, a knock at the door. A man of several beards. He says he is looking for his friend Ronald, that he followed him this far to my home where the trail ends abruptly. I ask him what Ronald looks like. He tells me, small and troublesome. He puts a finger through the hole in the screen door. I tell him I’m sorry, but cannot help him. He goes on his way. I move into the living room and sit down, relieved. I am awakened by the silence. Suddenly, as if haunted, I start at a sound in the valley. A far off chainsaw, turning trees into pencils

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