Monday, July 11, 2005

Sailing on Noah's Ark

Those who are collectors of the inanimate will delight in this poem and understand a bit more than "just because," the reason they clutter their lives, indulging themselves with such a puzzling human instinct. Here is a beautiful poem by Texas poet Janet McCann, "The Woman Who Collects Noah's Arks", from a work entitled Emily's Dress. It is a PDF file.

"The Woman Who Collects Noah’s Arks
Has them in every room of her house,
wall hangings, statues, paintings, quilts and blankets,
ark lampshades, mobiles, Christmas tree ornaments,
t-shirts, sweaters, necklaces, books,
comics, a creamer, a sugar bowl, candles, napkins,
tea-towels and tea-tray, nightgown, pillow, lamp.
Animals two-by-two in plaster, wood,
fabric, oil paint, copper, glass, plastic, paper,
tinfoil, leather, mother-of-pearl, styrofoam,
clay, steel, rubber, wax, soap.
Why I cannot ask, though I would like
to know, the answer has to be simply
because. Because at night when she lies
with her husband in bed, the house rocks out
into the bay, the one that cuts in here to the flatlands
at the center of Texas. Because the whole wood structure
drifts off, out under the stars, beyond the last
lights, the two of them pitching and rolling
as it all heads seaward. Because they hear
trumpets and bellows from the farther rooms.
Because the sky blackens, but morning finds them always
safe on the raindrenched land,
bird on the windowsill."
Hat Tip to Ginny at ChicagoBoyz.

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