If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the
__world
and following the wrong god home we may miss
__our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of
__childhood
storming out to play through the broken dike.

And as elephants parade holding each
__elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the
__park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something
__shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should
__consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the
dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to
__sleep;
the signals we give — yes or no, or maybe —
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.


From Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems. Used with kind permission of
Graywolf Press.


Love is Transformative
#Trust
Poetry