Photo by David Rifkin Copyright 2009

For Dana, Who Wants Unclaimed Groundlisten

Give me the traveled, exploited, the used,
something in suffering from triumph or toil.
I have no interest in land unabused,
nor do I lust after rough, virgin soil.

I am offended that Man can abandon
so much he’s conquered, once novelty goes –
thus came the reflex, to shelter the tendon;
thus came the thorn, for protecting the rose.

There is no need of new ground to arrest me.
Callousness thrives on the conqueror’s hands.
Magic and evidence both have addressed me.
I have preferred what the heart understands.

Something baroque in me seeks the ripped wallpaper,
loves the singed carpet, the sandblasted door –
leading me through the old hallway, the hall-vapor,
telling me, Touch. Smooth. Recover. Restore.

Originally appeared in Iambs & Trochees

Table Of Contents    Next Poem    Featured Poet Index   Guidelines