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An Economics of Happiness

John Donlan

I'll see your mistake, and double it.
Orange King Billy, Our Guide to the Open Bible,
proclaims, "It's just a text," but we suspect
plant scents, or cloud ripples on ponds

are irreducible, pointing at nothing
but themselves, our efforts to capture them
bright innocent chalk smears on slate,
unwitting self-portraits

made for praise, half-consciously, the food
we need to grow into our loneliness.
Ghost children soothe, and settle, seeing a smile
even though they know they'll always be invisible.

White lilies have passed, yellow come on.
Soon all will be pillowed with snow
smooth as summer wind. The frogs don't know.
"Donk," they say. A mother drinks, and her fawn.


July 24, 2003


John Donlan's works copyright © to the author.


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