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An Apple Waiting to Be Carved

In 1892 a man awoke wishing his name meant

detour on the way to pleasure because the angel

wings he sprouted in the night, though useless,

came with the most arduous requirements

for care. His neck grew long and exhausted

always having to reach his face around to peck

away the chiggers and the grit. He went through

the streets wrapped in so many gray scarves

people mistook him for a cloud. Though he was

more than just a font of gloom. He translated

Medea and The Bacchae into French. The scripts,

while obviously the work of an amateur,

were warmly received. Other things happened,

possibly the most important being that when he died

his bones came to rest upon an English heath.

Henry Moore, age eleven, walking lost in one brown

chill of spring, already convinced he would

never adequately render a single human face,

found the bones, mistaking them for the dead

branches of a tree that had tried in its sprouting

to turn human. It was like watching fire,

Henry in his later years said of this moment.

It was like watching fire, then becoming fire.

Suddenly you could make everything as you do burn.

from The Newest Employee of the Museum of RuinFind more by Charlie Clark at the library

Copyright © 2020 Charlie Clark
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Charlie Clark Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.