The poem wonders what she'll ever do with these lines:
she can't fit them anywhere. Cuts them from their page,
puts them gently into the grey metal box labeled Fragments.
Years later her son comes upon the box. And what
can we say: does he take it into a grassy field,
open it, does a sudden rain melt away the opaque papers?
No: too corny. Then does the wind come, scatter
the many fragments like leaves, each at the base of some tree?
Too filmic, too ecological. What really happens, then?
An old man with spotted hands takes the grey box to the dump.
It's at the bottom of a pile in the bed of a truck, but he gets to it,
into the monumental detritus, it never opens, its papers
long ago having passed their balance of cellulose
to acid, having disintegrated like so many words.
Contents | Mudlark No. 3