Friday, February 18, 2011

Why should I tell you anything true?


Why should I tell you anything true?
Why should I tell you anything?
You're not paying me.
i don't do this for money.

Hold out your hand,
your empty hand.
I see.
if I told you what you hold
in the lines in your hand
which as I said is empty,
is full of emptiness,
you'd be annoyed. Oh surely
not, you'd say, You're far too
dismal. Too severe.

I'm doing this to help you.
What would you prefer?
You'd like me to amuse you?
Do do some jigs, or pranks?
I lack the airiness,
I lack the feathers.
That's not what I do.

What I do: I see
in darkness. I see
darkness. I see you.

Margaret Atwood, The Door, Virago Press, 2007

1 comment:

  1. Variation On The Word Sleep

    I would like to watch you sleeping,
    which may not happen.
    I would like to watch you,
    sleeping. I would like to sleep
    with you, to enter
    your sleep as its smooth dark wave
    slides over my head

    and walk with you through that lucent
    wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
    with its watery sun & three moons
    towards the cave where you must descend,
    towards your worst fear

    I would like to give you the silver
    branch, the small white flower, the one
    word that will protect you
    from the grief at the center
    of your dream, from the grief
    at the center I would like to follow
    you up the long stairway
    again & become
    the boat that would row you back
    carefully, a flame
    in two cupped hands
    to where your body lies
    beside me, and as you enter
    it as easily as breathing in

    I would like to be the air
    that inhabits you for a moment
    only. I would like to be that unnoticed
    & that necessary

    Another version/vision by Margaret Atwood*
    Telling the truth, by the way...