Cover: Infirmities

//Heart-rending, two ways.//


Some mornings you know you’ve seen
much of this before.
The kind woman across the street
is lame, and her daughter is lame.

Some defect they’ve had since birth
is working to dissolve their bones.
The boy three doors down
is blind. And the idiot
girl who sweeps up at the market
insists all day on her own
strange tune. And sometimes they seem
happy enough and sometimes
you might find one alone, muffling
grief with a coat sleeve.

And the shy way the blind boy
laughs when he stumbles
makes you laugh with him some mornings.
Some mornings it hurts to see.

Scott Cairns (from The Translation of Babel)

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