Thursday, February 5, 2015


The very old muse has decided I should write
A poem about Gu, who is from Benin and used to be
The god of ironworking. That I know little about him
Deters her not at all. “You have seen his statue
Or a picture of it at least. He carries a large sword,
With holes punched in it. It must whistle
When he challenges the wind. His hat is iron
And worn jauntily. His smile is broad but his eyes
Never quite focus on the world in front of him.”
My folk did not work with iron but with tin
And, when they could get it, silver. (A thrice-great-aunt
Ran off at 19 with a burly redsmith, a copperworker
We speak her name still as something half-remembered)
How should I know of what iron dreams?

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