Spring 2001 vol 1.1
Mary Ruefle
What are people doing this afternoon,
in remotest antiquity?
The minister of education
is thirsty as a mule.
He walks to the well only to find
a mule got there first.
It’s hot while he waits,
A little sweat rolls from behind his ear,
he swats it as if it could fly.
He has a brief daydream about
his concubine.
He goes on waiting.
Now he’s really impatient.
That mule is certainly history !
The minister has other large but evasive thoughts,
one madder than a hornet, but calms himself
with plans for the future
which include considering his fate
and taking a nap.
When the mule lifts his head
his mouth is wet,
he flashes his passive face
then just goes on down the so-called road.
I say so-called because they did not then
have roads as we know them, the long, dark
intimate roads of our day, the highways and byways
no mule dare dream of.