The Reply

by Thomas R. Smith


T.R. Smith


This poem appears in Thomas R. Smith's latest book, The Dark Indigo Current
The Dark Indigo Current book cover
Holy Cow! Press
$12.95

Qty:

What good have these poems done?
The question insisted relentlessly
with every mile I drove into
strip-malled heartland that radiant
spring day. My forty-seven years,
my choice and stubborn practice ...

Later, calmed by a motel's
plastic assurances, I slept, with
miniature golf outside the window,
and dreamt we'd been baking bread.
Our loaves stood stacked with those
of other bakers in a wall of bread,

boules like skulls, nubbed heels
of baguettes like the femurs and tibias
of those five thousand Franciscans
in their terrifying chapel in Portugal.
And I felt suddenly afraid that
this wall, our hope and common labor,

might come in the end to nothing
but bones, though when I stood
behind the wall, I saw each individual
loaf had been clearly marked with
the name of some hungry person to whom
it would be delivered without fail.

       © 1997 by Thomas R. Smith

Note: "Evora, in the Alentejo region of Portugal, boasts among its many attractions a chapel with walls composed entirely of bones of 5,000 Franciscan monks and nuns. It was built during the Inquisition to frighten "infidels" ihto conversion: a sign over the entrance translates as "Our bones are waiting for your bones." [Thomas R. Smith, in "Amplifications and Sources" at the back of The Dark Indigo Current.]

First published in SPHINX, a London journal devoted to archetypal psychology.

Hear MP3 WebCasts from a reading by Robert Bly and Thomas R. Smith, editor of the first United States anthology of Alden Nowlan's poems, When He Went to the Store for a Loaf of Bread.

Other Poems by Thomas R. Smith

This appeared in:
The Dark Indigo Current
Holy Cow! Press
$12.95
Qty:

Affectionate Witness, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Boy Who Crawled, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem, published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current, was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.

The Reply, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

The Road to Kenora, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

Admiring My Father, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was published in Mr. Smith's most recent book, The Dark Indigo Current.

This appeared in:
Horse of Earth book cover
Holy Cow! Press
$8.95
Qty:

My Father Promised Me a Sword, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

The Cruel One, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem first appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

Come In from the Rain!, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem originally appeared in M.E.N. Magazine, and was published in Mr. Smith's recent poetry book Horse of Earth.

Late for Thanksgiving Dinner, by Thomas R. Smith. This poem was first published in M.E.N. Magazine.


Help us help men
$20  
Every $20 helps!

Press the "Back" button on your browser to return