Fall 1982 • Vol. IV No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1982 |

The Book of Friends #5 (R L)

Again you mock the simpleton, laugh,your ribald expression shared by those who fearhistoric vanity. Contempt is gladness,condemnation superiority.There is only misery in compassionand more sorrow than one can bear in pity:I imagine the dandelion's globes of puffon their tall stalks, each like a heaven of stars,shredded in the breezes stirred by the sunclimbing over the mists, and I think of yourising quick to condemn, contemptuous,the snarl of social laughter ever onyour lips. The drift of dandelion endsagainst a wall—whatever shields or blocks.I see each seed as a man utterlywithout freedom driven against those walls.But the wonder is the rootedness of weedswaving over the withered fields in autumn.What I mean as an image of hopelessness,the desperate pitted against the pitiless,transcends my usage, giving back more lifethan what I started with . . . as you should know.

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