Innkeeper

August 26, 2011

This year it’s piles of peppercorn, allspice
And cinnamon that fill the Keeper’s inn,
Not last year’s frankincense and myrrh. This year
As we watch his men scurry through the fields like mice
Deep in the world’s skin, we stay behind the gate,
For it is the Innkeeper who must weigh  the fields of corn
This year, count the cattle, count the sheep, winnow rice,
Number the worms and snails, even equate
The sea with water fresh from mountain streams.
He must reckon a final tax on all the world’s
Finite bounty. Seal the gate. Make it a poem.
And by your grace, my lord, these poems cannot be dreams—
These dreams! They stamp like spiders through the gate,
My lord. They buzz my ears, like flies awake.

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