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Gerald Stern
Four Sad Poems on the Delaware


The Flowering Dogwood
This is an old tuxedo shirt
gone a little yellow with age.
I open it up
and its petals fall into the grass.

The Wild Columbine
This is one of the flower animals.
Its head hangs down like a horse's
and its snout waves patiently in the wind.
It moves on the rock like the slowest of mollusks,
an inch every hundred years.

The Mayapple
This is a mayapple, living like a socialist
in the shade of the towpath.
It is one of the machines for living
that Le Corbusier designed in the old days.

The Black Locust
This is a locust tree, dying of love
waiting one more time for its flowers to come,
regretting its life on the stupid river,
growing more and more Jewish as its limbs weaken.

Aus: Gerald Stern: Alles brennt. Matthes & Seitz 2010

Gerald Stern    11.03.2010

Gerald Stern