By Sharon Olds
They drive him along the road in the steady
conscious way they drove their cattle
when they had cattle, when they had homes and
living children. They drive him with pliant
peeled sticks, snapped from trees
whose bark cannot be eaten-snapped,
not cut, no one has a knife, and the trees that can be
eaten have been eaten leaf and trunk and the
long roots pulled from the ground and eaten.
They drive him and beat him, a loose circle of
thin men with sapling sticks,
driving him along slowly, slowly
beating him to death. He turns to them
with all the eloquence of the body, the
wrist turned out and the vein up his forearm
running like a root just under the surface, the
wounds on his head ripe and wet as a
rich furrow cut back and cut back at
plough-time to farrow a trench for the seed, his
eye pleading, the iris black and
gleaming as his skin, the white a dark
occluded white like cloud-cover on the
morning of a day of heavy rain.
His lips are open to his brothers as the body of a
woman might be open, as the earth itself was
split and folded back and wet and
seedy to them once, the lines on his lips
fine as the thousand tributaries of a
root-hair, a river, he is asking them for life
with his whole body, and they are driving his body
all the way down the road because
they know the life he is asking for-
it is their life.
Sorry I'm late; had some chores to get done this morning and then perkypaduan stopped by on her way out of town. And my kids get out of school in half an hour, and I haven't showered or gotten a word written for work!
I did get my laundry folded last night, and watched Skin which I am really enjoying (every year I get one guilty pleasure and this one has grabbed me so much more than Tarzan -- people praising that show at the expense of other new series just annoy me, can't you people admit you like something without having to run down other people's pleasures?)
So tomorrow the Return of the King photo guides and visual companions come out, and I have to get a bunch of stuff at Target (fortunately next door to B&N) and now I hear the Troy trailer will be shown on Entertainment Tonight. And of course I have to review. I better go get organized.