Letter to a Gifted Student
Know this first: the gift is worthless
you’ve been unwrapping all these years,
unlayering a Christmas paper gorgeous-patterned.
Or shroud-plain as clouds. Or soft dark
as velvet marked with wine or blood.
Each time, you’ll keep the faith, something
will turn up — something material and sharp
as money: a knife, a pair of marble eyes,
a tree, a roofed pagoda, a bone, a flute.
Nothing ever does.
(LSU Press, 2000, pp. 41-42)
REPRINTED WITH THE AUTHOR’S PERMISSION
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