Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happened to see a documentary about twins - put me in mind of a poem I wrote some time ago.   The mother of the twins asked for this poem as a commission.


Even if you had not been told,
some say, you would have known him:
he would always be there for you -

the invisible playmate,
the presence in your stillness,
the tap on your shoulder
when you turn round
suddenly and find

Or you might sense a mere
Siamese union,
joined at the mind.

You could make him the twin you'll always
carry on your back. Yet
how bitter the burden

if you become Saint Christopher
to one whom death disabled,
a Tiny Tim, callipered shade, cross to bear
on the journey
of your life,
his not-life.

Do not let it be so. Let him be
the sturdy, oafish ghost you wrestle with
to try your strength, or the intellect on which
you strike arguments
as you strike matches

and make fierce fires
while camped out in the wilderness.

(originally published in Northwords)

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