Apologue (1)

En la tierra del olvido, donde de nada nadie se acuerda…

In the land where all is forgotten, where no one remembers anything,
birds cut off their beaks to share your sorrow, Little Torn Shoe.
Twice of half a moon throbbed, swollen. I don’t know what
you mourned. This tale was lost among the chestnut trees,
where I found it and brought it to you. Little Bird of Many Colors,
you are the kind who confuses wondering with wandering.
You wonder around. Under your braids, a bright light.
Little Pink Apple, life does not taste as good as it should.
After all, there is always something better. We choose the best
of what is before us, but much is not before us. In the story,
a boy chose the horse called Thought over the one called Wind.
Thinking swiftly, he rode to you. His sack of apples turned
to a sack of rats; his sack of pears to parrots repeating
happy, happy, happy . . . Little Gold Pin, many things we tell
our children are kind but not true. The reverse is also true.
You were crying in the chestnut trees. There was no telling
the leaves from the leaf-shaped spaces between them.
I don’t know what you mourned, Little Winter Deer, the birds
mute and bleeding all around you. I know you want to forget
that last part. And here a cup got broken. Everyone should now go home.

From The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Maggie Smith. Used with permission of the author.