There Are Delicacies
there are delicacies in you
like the hearts of watches
there are wheels that turn
on the tips of rubies
& tiny intricate locks
i need your help
to contrive keys
there is so little time
even for the finest
Earle Birney (1904 – 1995)
The Mind’s Eye by Chen Chi-kwan (1921 – 2007)
Two ladies came in, mother and daughter. It’s cold. They are wearing bright jumpers, black scarves, fingerless gloves and they carry umbrellas. They are anxious because back in the bakery, they noticed three ambulances going past.
Why are there that many?
Is this normal for Strathalbyn?
But I didn’t know. I had noticed the sirens, though.
They stayed for a long time but didn’t choose any books. The mother was enthusiastic for Liane Moriarty. She went through the plot of two of her novels for me. Not the third one, because that one didn’t hold her. At the third chapter of that book, she just put it down. No thanks! No more for me! I’m a busy person and can’t just use my time on a book like that.
Her daughter was holding the door open, wanting to leave. But mum kept talking, even though the cold swept in and wrapped us all in fresh wool.
Mum, we’re going. It’s time.
Her mother gave me a dark look, indicating what she had to put up with. At the door, she turned the wrong way, and her daughter took her arm firmly and turned her back toward the car.
The mother was saying she thought they needed some eggs.
But there was no time.
“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson