Monday, February 7, 2011

The Caterpillar

About a year and a half ago Lucinda Williams married Tom Overby on the stage of the First Avenue Bar in Minneapolis. While not a typical place to have a wedding, my guess is in the long run it'll work as well as any. Her father, Miller is a big deal in the poetry world. Here he is hitting lead off for the home team. From my experience I'd have to say, it's great to be a dad.

The Caterpillar

--Miller Williams

Today on the lip of a bowl in the backyard
we watched a caterpillar caught in the circle
of his larvel assumptions
my daughter counted
27 times he went around
before rolling back and laughing
I'm a caterpillar, look
she left him
measuring out his slow green way to some place
there must have been a picture of inside him
After supper
coming from putting the car up
we stopped to look
figured he crossed the yard
once every hour
and left him
when we went to bed
wrinkling no closer to my landlord's leaves
than when he somehow fell into his private circle
Later I followed
barefeet and doorclicks of my daughter
to the yard the bowl
milkwhite moonlight eye
in the black grass
it died
I said honey they don't live very long
In bed again
re-covered and re-kissed
she locked her arms and mumbling love to mine
until yawning she slipped
into the deep bone-bottomed dish of sleep
Stumbling drunk around the rim
I hold
the words she said to me across the dark
I think he thought he was
going in a straight line.

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