Fable

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 100th birthday.

Doris Lessing
English
1919 – 2013

 

When I look back I seem to remember singing.
Yet it was always silent in that long warm room.

Impenetrable, those walls, we thought,
Dark with ancient shields. The light
Shone on the head of a girl or young limbs
Spread carelessly. And the low voices
Rose in the silence and were lost as in water.

Yet, for all it was quiet and warm as a hand,
If one of us drew the curtains
A threaded rain blew carelessly outside.
Sometimes a wind crept, swaying the flames,
And set shadows crouching on the walls,
Or a wolf howled in the wide night outside,
And feeling our flesh chilled we drew together.

But for a while the dance went on –
That is how it seems to me now:
Slow forms moving calm through
Pools of light like gold net on the floor.
It might have gone on, dream-like, for ever.

But between one year and the next – a new wind blew?
The rain rotted the walls at last?
Wolves’ snouts came thrusting at the fallen beams?

It is so long ago.
But sometimes I remember the curtained room
And hear the far-off youthful voices singing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.