It’s not a busy place, the lost poem depository.
Sheltered in a mulberry grove and made up of thatch and bamboo
it’s always open.
When snow perches on bamboo stalks,
rain basins in cassia leaves,
willows sweep away stray maple leaves
and sunlight streams in leaf way passages,
it remains open,
seeing two visitors everyday – at 10 and 2 –
one repeat and one unique
both asking for the same thing – always directed at the old man –
sat behind the cassia desk in beard and rags –
have you seen my poem?
And, as always, he shows them outback
to the garden
with the pond inhabited by two egrets and five catfish
with the bamboo thicket where the gibbons swing
and the criss crossed grass
where the lost poems
idle and spin, sit and gallop, glide and idle.
And, as always the repeat visitor finds what they misplaced
and the rookie does not
and then coming back the next day at 10
rags and beard behind the cassia table
rises and takes them outback to show them whats new
(and inevitably theirs) and then patiently waits for the 2 o’clock
in the lost poem depository.
If you have lost poems, I hope you find them.