April 7, 2012

Frank Mitrovitch Prosak

TO SMALL ACTS OF TENDERNESS

I tell myself that I’ve begun to heal,
That this aging body is more flexible,
That these pains I live with have receded
As this river has receded in recent days:
My heavy green canoe
Now rests half its length
From the water’s edge.

My world is full of dirt, roots, mosquitoes,
And the rattling wind in the aspens:
“The North,” it says, “is the place of wisdom.”

Here, on this permanently frozen latitude,
I’ve learned to understand nothing,
To believe nothing.
Empty, I dedicate these soiled hands
To small acts of tenderness.

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006
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