Sherod Santos

Hymn to Necessity Hymn to Necessity

With a chain saw and axe, we've spent a long Morning cutting up a sycamore the storm Brought down. For all twelve years we've lived here, It has shaded over our kitchen window, Upheld the various tire swings and feeders, The candle-lit rice paper Japanese lanterns, And even, on one occasion, one corner Of a straw-hooped canopy for a wedding. So borne in mind, we've come to find that, Rinsing our dishes in the sink at lunch, The clearing it leaves over-brims itself And turns what's not there outside in, But how good the sun feels in its absence, And how like absence to surprise us this way.

Dec 7, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Sherod Santos