Song not for you

1 November 2016

after ‘Das Lied des Zwerges’ (The song of the dwarf), Rainer Maria Rilke


Crooked blood, stunted hands, cripple,
out of place – uncanny how small
thoughts can be, while I’m incomparable,
only a dwarf because the so-called average
person is taller. You ought
to just walk on by, but don’t. Ever thought
how inflated you must look from this

height? When I walk or shop, I’m inspiring,
it seems. Fantastic to see you getting
out
, you say, imagining waking
up in my body, the courage
you’d need not to kill yourself, stat.
How do you do live with that?
That’s me wondering back,
distractedly eating (wow!) a sandwich.

In my home, I’ve made it so I come
face to face with the cupboards and oven, belonging
as we all want it. I sleep in my bed (some-
times alone). At work, my cubicle’s longer
and wider than yours. True,
this isn’t much of a song –
but then it never was meant for you.

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