Peter Siedlecki

The story will be whispered
by the gray-bearded father,
and it will be true.

The listener
will weave a cloth of it
and fashion
an embroidered garment
meant to suggest a direction

and when he arrives
at wherever
there is,
will be a black lake
whose water is nothing,
expecting him
to provide form.

--a vast lacuna
luring into itself
the raveling threads
of what he had been wearing.

Finally naked,
he will pronounce a curse
upon his father's tongue
and upon everything
that was true
and his words will startle
even him.

And he will feel
the bristles on his chin
begin to gray.

Or else,
he will ignore what he sees
and seek a small pool
in which to gaze and
admire his father's beauty

and he will feel his own voice
constrict into a whisper.


The 2River View, 2_4 (Summer 1998)