Thursday Poem

Reading Sartre to a Pear Tree

When I was pruning a dead limb
from a dying pear tree, I thought
for some reason of a line from Sartre:
We must act out passion before we can feel it.
Though my favorite line has always been:
I confused things with their names: that is belief.
And the impatient sound the rain
was making on the stone steps—
the great embellishment as monologue
or messenger or megaphone—made me think
next of a quote from Rilke spilling and chastising
from the page: I won’t endure these half-filled
human masks. So do we mourn the pear
that never was by imagining Eve’s teeth marks
pressing into the white fruit? Or do we quote
a few last lines in the rain to a severed limb
and then toss it in the buttonbushes?

by Doug Ramspeck

from Brick & Mortar Review