• Samarth

How to Apologise

Ellen Bass Cook a large fish—choose one with many bones, a skeleton you will need skill to expose, maybe the flying silver carp that’s invaded the Great Lakes, tumbling the others into oblivion. If you don’t live near a lake, you’ll have to travel. Walking is best and shows you mean it, but you could take a train and let yourself be soothed by the rocking on the rails. It’s permitted to receive solace for whatever you did or didn’t do, pitiful, beautiful human. When my mother was in the hospital, my daughter and I had to clear out the home she wouldn’t return to. Then she recovered and asked, incredulous, How could you have thrown out all my shoes? So you’ll need a boat. You could rent or buy, but, for the sake of repairing the world, build your own. Thin strips of Western red cedar are perfect, but don’t cut a tree. There’ll be a demolished barn or downed trunk if you venture further. And someone will have a mill. And someone will loan you tools. The perfume of sawdust and the curls that fall from your plane will sweeten the hours. Each night we dream thirty-six billion dreams. In one night we could dream back everything lost. So grill the pale flesh. Unharness yourself from your weary stories. Then carry the oily, succulent fish to the one you hurt. There is much to fear as a creature caught in time, but this is safe. You need no defense. This is just another way to know you are alive.


Poem of the Week #2

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