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-
The mail truck goes down the coast Carrying a single letter. At the end of a long pier The bored seagull lifts a leg now and then And forgets to put it down. There is a menace in the air Of tragedies in the making. Last night you thought you heard television In the house next door. You were sure it was some new Horror they were reporting, So you went out to find out. Barefoot, wearing just shorts. It was only the sea sounding weary After so many lifetimes Of pretending to be rushing off somewhere And never getting anywhere. This morning, it felt like Sunday. The heavens did their part By casting no shadow along the boardwalk Or the row of vacant cottages, Among them a small church With a dozen gray tombstones huddled close As if they, too, had the shivers.