Charles Simic

1938 / Belgrade

So Early in the Morning

It pains me to see an old woman fret over
A few small coins outside a grocery store -
How swiftly I forget her as my own grief
Finds me again - a friend at death's door
And the memory of the night we spent together.

I had so much love in my heart afterward,
I could have run into the street naked
Confident anyone I met would understand
My madness and my need to tell them
About life being both cruel and beautiful,

But I did not - despite the overwhelming evidence:
A crow bent over a dead squirrel in the road,
The lilac bushes flowering in some yard,
And the sight of a dog free from his chain
Searching through a neighbor's trash can.
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