Eleanor Lerman

Little Girl, Little Boy

What you will find, little girl, little boy
is that after the storm there is only
one path, and it leads to the mill
at the end of the winding river
that grinds out the fate of the world
You can hear its groaning gears
all your life without reading, anywhere,
about a wounded machine that is
swallowing the stars. But doesn’t
the sky look darker every night?
Isn’t there a small bear missing from
the heavens? A bull ? A great bird?
No one knows where the river begins
or why the mill is tireless, insatiable
You will be sent there anyway, with
many instructions, and though none of
them will be helpful, don’t give up yet
People have been thinking about this
problem since they first opened their
eyes, which may have been yesterday
Or maybe, tomorrow

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