Robert Bly

The Shoehorn

It’s odd that the shoe horn has been able to preserve 
Its shape over centuries. At dusk my ignorance 
Slips away and hides its eggs in the woods.

Everyone knows when a great man or woman 
Is about to die, and fights that. Many of the Jews 
Wanted to speak privately to Pilate.

Our parents’ faces at dawn have so much grief 
That they resemble those stone faces on Easter 
Island, gazing toward some missing Friday.

After every one of our wars, the newly dead 
Hold out a cup to us. What can we do 
But testify to a thousand years of darkness?

Iron keeps calling to earth, and earth to iron. 
If you throw a knife high in the air, 
The knife soon curves over and sticks in the soil.

I guessed how difficult my selfishness would 
Be when I heard the sound the hitch makes 
When it slides off the drawbar onto the ground.