DESCRIPTION OF A LOST THING
It never had a name,
Nor do I remember how I found it.
I carried it in my pocket
Like a lost button
Except it wasn't a button.
On rain-slicked streets.
It led a quiet, unremarkable existence
Like a shadow in a dream,
An angel on a pin,
And then it vanished.
The years passed with their row
Of nameless stations,
Till somebody told me this is it!
And fool that I was,
I got off on an empty platform
With no town in sight.
This street could use a bit of shade
And the same goes for that small boy
Playing alone in the sun,
A shadow to dart after him like a black kitten.
His parents sit in a room with shades drawn.
The stairs to the cellar
Are hardly used any more
Except for an occasional prowler.
Like a troop of traveling actors dressed to play Hamlet,
The evening shadows come.
They spend their days hidden in the trees
Outside the old courthouse.
Now comes the hard part:
What to do with the stones in the graveyard?
The sun doesn't care for ambiguities,
But I do. I open my door and let them in.
Copyright © 2005 by Charles Simic
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