Indifferent as a statue
to the slogan
scribbled on its pedestal.
The way an express train
snubs the passengers at a local station.
Like a notebook forgotten on a seat in the bus,
full of names, addresses and telephone numbers:
important, no doubt, to the owner—
but of no interest whatever
to anyone else.
Words like drops of water on a stove—
a hiss and gone.
Return to By the Well of Living and Seeing and The Fifth Book of the Maccabees
POEMS 1918-1975: THE COMPLETE POEMS OF CHARLES REZNIKOFF Copyright © 1977
by Marie Syrkin Reznikoff and reprinted with the permission of Black Sparrow Press.