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I begin to talk to violets. Tears fall into my soup and I drink them. Sooner or later everyone donates something. I carry wood, stone, and hay in my head. The eyes of the violets grow very wide. At the end of the day I reglue the broken foot of the china shepherd who has put up with me. Next door, in the house of the clock-repairer, a hundred clocks tick at once. He and his wife go about their business sleeping peacefully at night.
"Regarding this poem, I have very little to say. I tend to forget my poems as soon as they are written, but I am very happy while writing them. I do love how things we saw many, many years ago can suddenly crop up in a poem we wrote yesterday, and that happened here. I was once in the house of a clock-repairer and asked him how he could sleep with all that ticking—there were hundreds of working clocks on the walls—and he told me he was so used to it he had no problem at all. Me, I bury my alarm clock every night, as I cannot bear to hear the ticking!" —Mary Ruefle
Mary Ruefle's most recent book is My Private Property (Wave Books, 2016). She lives in Bennington, Vermont.
Thanks to Kaveh Akbar, author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017), who curated Poem-a-Day this month. Read more about Akbar and our other guest editors for the year.
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