Thursday, February 4, 2010

Poem by John Alter


You left behind an apricot tree
in the garden outside a house in which
your bride is preparing for her guests
a simple meal of hand-rolled bread

some vegetables and relish made
from that same tree. They sit
on the verandah watching a monkey
climb and remembering, each

in his or her own way, what you
once were to each. It is early afternoon.
Down by the small river where you
walked a leopard is sleeping.

The leopard, the monkey, the bride
are dead. Only the small river lingers.

--for Eric and Sona Bailey

for more poems by John, click here.

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