When I Get There, If I Get There

By Tim Suermondt

Tell me the story of your heart.
Does it include a donkey?
—Maurice Manning

I’m not completely sure about a donkey,
although any type of ass in my poems
is an ass that probably belongs in them.
I wouldn’t mind if everything I am
and desire to become rides on the back
of a donkey, its silver bell around its neck
tinkling away as both of us grind up
the steep mountain to the monastery where
the monks have never spoken a word.
When I get there, if I get there, then I’ll
start writing the story of my heart, but not
until I’ve given the donkey water, a bucket
of oats—we made it, old friend, rest now,
rest. We still have a lot of traveling to do.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 12. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Tim Suermondt is the author of Trying to Help the Elephant Man Dance (The Backwaters Press, 2007) and Just Beautiful (NYQ Press,2010).  He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.

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