The Folly of Wisdom by Michael Burch
She is wise in the way that children are wise,
looking at me with such knowing, grave eyes
I must bend down to her to understand.
But she only smiles, and takes my hand.
We are walking somewhere that her feet know to go,
so I smile, and I follow ...
And the years are dark creatures concealed in bright leaves
that flutter above us, and what she believesâ€“
I can almost rememberâ€“goes something like this:
the prince is a horned toad, awaiting her kiss.
She wiggles and giggles, and all will be well
if only we find him! The woodpeckerâ€™s knell
as he hammers the coffin of some dying tree
that once was a fortress to someone like me
rings wildly above us. Some things that we know
we are meant to forget. Life is a bloodletting, maple-syrup-slow.
Originally published by Romantics Quarterly