Poetry / February 2011 (Issue 13)

Little Boy Analects

by David Sutherland

Little Boy said. . .
Life is quick, don’t hesitate in its passing
Lay wire in ground and ignite with dry wick.
Should this be insufficient, cover your eyes,
for the sun will never shine as bright as Hiroshima.

And where went the tadpoles on the inland toll?
Did not the wind blow lavender or plum and fill
this valley from green hill to sandbank?
Where went the wren and titmice?

Best to concede with wing on breast,
wait to sing another day.
Is it not prudent to live from the silt ground-up?

And bury me where? Have we not loved and have we not cried?
Little Boy be now ever so clever, let the jade be carved,
the old clothes hung, let the city give alms,
Oh little one, Spring grieves.

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