Saturday, March 20, 2010


It's almost one o'clock in the afternoon on the first full day of spring break. I'm still in my nightgown. My bed still isn't made. I've spent the morning writing poems from prompts based on fragments from Sappho, for the Tupelo press poetry project.

Some of them are so hard! Here's the hardest one, based on fragment 40:
"But I to you of a white goat"

Huh? "But I to you of a white goat"? You're kidding. You've gotta be kidding!

Here's what I wrote. I confess to being in love with it.

“But I to you of a white goat”

The words make no sense.
“A white goat,” for starters.
There is no white goat,
has never been.
Well, except that one time –
did I really forget? – the walk
in the country – by the farm
with the broken fence – and the goat –
was he white? – he might have been -
and I was startled –
and you took my hand.
All right, there was a white goat.
“But I to you”?
I to you am nothing now.
Why must I recall the field,
green with spring rain, the goat,
our reaching hands. . .

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