The cold orange hands of the salamanders still wrap and unwrap the baby he dreams he was then long before there was any human family. Then their work was just beginning on the damp stones and mosses too. He had to be as little strange as possible. They were making the world & working on him too. He was warmer but less strange than a moss or a stone was, that saved him. The moss worked on the stone too. The stone worked on him like a mind he had to grow up to talk to or dream to but without turning strange. The cold hands run over him. They read the body he dreams of as a baby's to the stone. Before there was any human family the work that made him was this work just beginning.
From What Kind by Martha Zweig. Copyright © 2003 by Martha Zweig. Reproduced by permission of Wesleyan University Press. All rights reserved.
Martha Zweig is the author of Monkey Lightning (Tupelo Press, 2010), What Kind (Wesleyan University Press, 2003), and Vinegar Bone (Wesleyan University Press, 1999). She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award. She lives in Vermont.
Date Published: 2003-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/work-0