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Poetry

I used to think truth was a fast train

streaking from the station, self-

confident, unapologetic, on time.

Or a seagull wheeling, plunging in one

white flash toward glassy waves

to scoop a minnow from the water

in the black arrow of its beak.

 

Later, older, I could pluck truth

from trees when I wanted,

weigh it in my hands: ruddy, sun-

warmed, firm as an apple. Though

sometimes, yes, I had to search before

I’d find it fallen in an orchard. But as

I parted the air to lift it, the air

healed itself deftly as a door closing.

 

Years passed, patient with me, till

I saw another kind of truth:

a man totters from the airport

one freezing morning with the face

and shoulders of a CEO, but old

now, fumbling to push his arm

into his Armani trench coat, over

and over, trying, missing,

standing, trembling, finally

wandering to the doorman, who

holds the coat for him. And slow

as sun rising into winter morning,

the arm finds home, the body feels

sweet warmth, not of its own

making, nothing it earned or paid for.


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