Charles Simic

1938 / Belgrade

Nancy Jane

Grandma laughing on her deathbed.
Eternity, the quiet one, listening in.

Like moths around an oil lamp we were.
Like ragdolls tucked away in the attic.

In walked a cat with a mouthful of feathers.
(How about that?)

A dark little country store full of gravedigger's
children buying candy.
(That's how we looked that night.)

The young men pumping gas spoke of his friends:
the clouds.
It was such a sad story, it made everyone laugh.

A bird called out of a tree, but received no answer.

The beauty of that last moment
Like a red sail on the bay at sunset,

Or like a wheel breaking off a car
And roaming the world on its own.
72 Total read