Louise Gluck

Study of My Sister

We respect, here in America,
what is concrete, visible. We ask
What is it for? What does it lead to?

My sister
put her fork down. She felt, she said,
as though she should jump off a cliff.

A crime has been committed
against a human soul

as against the small child
who spends all day entertaining herself
with the colored blocks

so that she looks up
radiant at the end,
presenting herself,
giving herself back to her parents

and they say
What did you build?
and then, because she seems
so blank, so confused,
they repeat the question.