Back to Issue 36
Other work from the 2013 Randall Jarrell Competition in this issue:
When I finally made my way across the ice
of my twenties and thirties and forties
and up the mountain through the cedars
a great sage gave me a grass sack
to start my new life.
In the grass sack I found
a dull gray stone,
a box that once held a gold locket,
a toy fire truck, and a ladder.
I have learned to use the stone
in love, to turn the stone over.
I keep the box closed,
the gift its own cherishing.
The toy fire truck—well,
fate burns, as it will.
The great sage said a grass sack
is a thing, just a thing,
all things empty.
But Master, the ladder.
I hitched up the ladder to every height
and still the moon rolls away.
Above the clouds
the airplanes are small and cold
and the ladder sways.
Teach me to climb
down from ambition.
Beyond my fingertips
rolls the moon.