Saturday, February 23

the apology

(adaptation from Petrarch)

Whoever hears in these scattered rhymes the raw sighs
my heart devoured when I was younger, or sees the soul’s
tattered phrases hanging there unclaimed, don’t scold
this art written by my other self, filled with confusion, not lies,
and forgive even this varied style I use now, that flies
as darkly as the crow, that scans the secret life of the mole,
that covers itself in Hope’s blankets, that has always told
Love’s truth, that now asks for pardon before its words run dry.
I know how rumor grew like a moth from a cocoon,
how some of you laughed when Shame stood at my door
for years, how Regret tracked me with her silent screams—
but also, and how each tree bears some fruit, how the moon
and the stars, the wind, the whole earth are images whose doors
open other worlds, if they only endure like the half-life of dreams.

-- Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson