Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Passengers (A Prose Poem)

The trip was long and difficult, covering eons of time from light years away in outer space, first on the tailgating rubble of a comet, then on several asteroids, eventually arriving on earth in the souvenir glove compartment of the space shuttle.

The passengers were small, no larger than the palm of your hand, looking like a piece of dried snake skin, the footprints of trees on the earth, or like two tardy leaves, eyes tightly shut, holding hands as they drift down during a snow storm; but in fact they were intergalactic space travelers from a distant galaxy, a nameless solar system, a ghost planet where every object, living or dead, is disguised as something else.

This poem was written on February 25, 1999 in response to a assignment from a prose poem writing class in which the instructor, Diane Raptosh, asked the students to write a poem about one of several items on the table, one of which was a case with four mounted deadleaf butterflies whose wings look exactly like dead tree leaves.

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