Joy Harjo

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Veteran

I don’t believe in ashes; some of the others do.
I don’t believe in better or best; some of the others do.
I don’t believe in a thousand flowers or the first robin
of the year or statues made of dust. Some of the others do


I don’t believe in seeking sheet music
by Boston Common on a snowy day, don’t believe
in the lighting of malls seasonably
When I’m sleeping I don’t believe in time
as we own it, though some of the others might


Sad lace on green. Veterans stamping the leafy snow
I don’t believe in holidays
long-lasting and artificial. Some of the others do
I don’t believe in starlings of crenelated wings
I don’t believe in berries, red & orange, hanging on
threadlike twigs. Some of the others do


I don’t believe in the light on the river
moving with it or the green bulbs hanging on the elms
Outdoors, indoors, I don’t believe in a gridlock of ripples
or the deep walls people live inside


Some of the others believe in food & drink & perfume
I don’t. And I don’t believe in shut-in time
for those who committed a crime
of passion. Like a sweetheart
of the iceberg or wings lost at sea


the wind is what I believe in,
the One that moves around each form


Fanny Howe

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