Here and There

Monday, May 10, 2010

Poem on a dreary May morning

The Exhibit
by Lisel Mueller

My uncle in East Germany
points to the unicorn in the painting
and explains that it is now extinct.
We correct him, say such a creature
never existed. He does not argue,
but we know he does not believe us.
He is certain power and gentleness
must have gone hand in hand
once. A prisoner of war
even after the war was over,
my uncle needs to believe in something
that could not be captured except by love,
whose single luminous horn
redeemed the murderous forest
and, dipped into foul water,
would turn it pure. This world,
this terrible world we live in,
is not the only possible one,
his eighty-year-old eyes insist,
dry wells that fill so easily now.

3 comments:

Leiflet said...

Considering how many species are becoming extinct in my lifetime, I think it would be almost arrogant to assume that unicorns never existed.

This is a nice poem.

jillyg said...

i agree.

Jess said...

gorgeous.