I stumble from room to room
lost like a young wild boy
whose pockets once were stuffed
with marbles and frogs,
foreign coins and knotted string,
a pocket knife and an empty
silver locket, but now has
discovered his clothing empty.
He searches under his bed, behind
bookcases, in the far back
reaches of his black closet
where he sometimes hides. Nothing.
Where could it all have gone?
Vanished as strangely and miraculously
as it all had come to him–
found things, gifts and thefts.
This has happened too often.
So this time before he takes
his papers and paints and throws
them to the floor, before he shouts
so that everyone in the distant
corners of his house come running,
this time he stops and imagines
a pile of lost things someone else
will find: unasked for treasures,
coins from places unheard of, string
from kites set free, an empty locket
once held close to a heart in love.
I wander the rooms of my house now,
not searching, not angry, not
even hopeful. I am merely ready
for the miracle of found things
From Text and Commentary, Mandala Publishing, 1993. Reprinted in Is This Forever, or What? edited by Naomi Shihab Nye.
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