Old Folk’s Home, Jerusalem

This reading was recorded by Alessandro Mistrorigo at Phonodia LAB in Venice, Italy, on the 18th of April, 2014.

Read by Rita Dove on 18 April 2014

Old Folk’s Home, Jerusalem

------------------------------------------------for Harry Timar

Evening, the bees fled, the honeysuckle
in its golden dotage, all the sickrooms ajar.
Law of the Innocents: What doesn’t end, sloshes over . . .
even here, where destiny girds the cucumber.

So you wrote a few poems. The horned
thumbnail hooked into an ear doesn’t care.
The gray underwear wadded over a belt says So what.

The night air is minimalist,
a needlepoint with raw moon as signature.
In this desert the question’s not
Can you see? but How far off?
Valley settlements put on their lights
like armor; there’s finch chit and my sandal’s
inconsequential crunch.

Everyone waiting here was once in love.

from Grace Notes (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., © 1989 by Rita Dove). All rights reserved. Copying to other websites or any kind of reprint is a violation of international copyright laws and strictly forbidden.

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