What Was Given

What was given came without 
the usual reasons—the earth

that day having completed
no meaningful circuit of the sun.

The giving should have been cause enough 
for surprise, or that hidden beneath

patterned folds of wrap, within 
a box large as any man's bewilderment,

waited some unknown thing, purchased 
after long labor. How undeserved,

that unreciprocated moment, 
when all the twisted paths

they'd walked together and alone, 
seemed to brighten at the first tug

on the bow, the paper hinging out 
like doors, the lid ready to come undone

as one stood there, still
too frightened to peer inside.

Reprinted from Double Going by Richard Foerster, with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd. Copyright © 2002 by Richard Foerster. All rights reserved.