By RACHEL HADAS
In Richard’s attic, I
swung on a swing suspended from a rafter
and listened to two fables
read by my host in a voice that sometimes broke.
His son’s train sets occupied the floor.
His family was elsewhere, as was mine.
Or did I have a family any more?
We each inhabited our lives alone,
I want to say, although it isn’t so.
This sounds like allegory, but it’s true.
If we are lucky, this is what we do
at some point: listen, swinging to and fro,
to old stories a fresh voice makes new.
As to their morals we weren’t of one mind,
but we agreed about the ever after.
Rachel Hadas is Board of Governors Professor of English at the Newark Campus of Rutgers University.