In their Tiny darkness.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better. 

-Billy Collins

2 comments:

bettythegeek said...

oh I *heart* billy collins!

Circe said...

Oh, Puanani, I LOVE THIS! I had to read to out loud to my teen (he passively complied, I pretend that I've somehow enriched him...)

It's such a mother's lament these worries, even for proverbial and lyrical mice. And so lovely to think of a man being thusly moved, and I admit, pertaining to my world, also moving to think of a man in the kitchen dicing ANYTHING! ;)

And now I'm off to read more Billy Collins.(and to search for the elusive Freddie Hubbard Blue Moon track, absent from familiar sources, and am extra sad to learn by this initial search that he passed away this past December.)

Thanks; how lovely.

Circe