The obvious is difficult To prove. Many prefer The hidden. I did, too. I listened to the trees. They had a secret Which they were about to Make known to me— And then didn't. Summer came. Each tree On my street had its own Scheherazade. My nights Were a part of their wild Storytelling. We were Entering dark houses, Always more dark houses, Hushed and abandoned. There was someone with eyes closed On the upper floors. The fear of it, and the wonder, Kept me sleepless. The truth is bald and cold, Said the woman Who always wore white. She didn't leave her room. The sun pointed to one or two Things that had survived The long night intact. The simplest things, Difficult in their obviousness. They made no noise. It was the kind of day People described as "perfect." Gods disguising themselves As black hairpins, a hand-mirror, A comb with a tooth missing? No! That wasn't it. Just things as they are, Unblinking, lying mute In that bright light— And the trees waiting for the night.
Charles Simic - 1938-
Eyes Fastened With Pins
How much death works, No one knows what a long Day he puts in. The little Wife always alone Ironing death's laundry. The beautiful daughters Setting death's supper table. The neighbors playing Pinochle in the backyard Or just sitting on the steps Drinking beer. Death, Meanwhile, in a strange Part of town looking for Someone with a bad cough, But the address somehow wrong, Even death can't figure it out Among all the locked doors... And the rain beginning to fall. Long windy night ahead. Death with not even a newspaper To cover his head, not even A dime to call the one pining away, Undressing slowly, sleepily, And stretching naked On death's side of the bed.