In the Charnel House
In the charnel house of my still breathing soul,
There hangs, on rusted peg, a long descending scale of ancient thoughts.
Nearby are meaty ribs, the outlines of the things I meant to do.
I walk among them clothed in hoary rags.
In my scrubbed and gloved hands I bear my tools: a saw and mallet.
I would make music of these boney, hanging things.
From out a nearby kitchen,
I hear a steaming cauldron whistle
And a kettle sing.
Inside a stained and splintered box,
I thrill to read my name inscribed in archived works
Of my professors, long since dead.
And then, I start. I am much older now than they
When first I knew them.
How much time have I to pound that ribby xylophone or
Cut through cluttered fat and find a tune worth singing?