Poetry is a new landscape, a foreign land. I am exploring. I was given this poem by a wise and dear mentor. I pass it forward to an old friend. I think she has her own jar bobbing out to sea.
I took the man out of my jar.
I thought, That’s no place for him to be.
That’s no man to be in my jar.
I took him out,
and the song went out of me.
And the tree trunks hit by the rising sun
and the shape of his teeth
It was for my own good that I took him out.
(After a looting, after a theft.)
He was an insult to my affections.
I took him out and
his voice was gone,
and every sound changed but one-
the beating sound kept beating on.
At first I was relieved.
I took him out and took out pain.
I thought, My jar will be ready for
a new set of teeth.
Then slowly that drained out, too:
So there it sat, my jar on a sill
with nothing to sing about. Quiet, still.
A jar on a blank page, a jar on a roof
with nothing inside it and nothing to prove.
So I launched it. Out to sea.
A jar set adrifting, a jar on a wave.
A jar on the ocean, far from the shore.
Miraculous. Buoyant. Able to float.
But useless and empty and floating by rote.
No sound but the little tin pecks
of the waves on the glass.
My jar bobbed further and further
out to sea
till the water grew so large
and silent around it
that it was lost to me.
~Susan Minot, Poems 4 a.m.