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Tapestry

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It hangs from heaven to earth.
There are trees in it, cities, rivers,   
small pigs and moons. In one corner
the snow falling over a charging cavalry,   
in another women are planting rice.

You can also see:
a chicken carried off by a fox,
a naked couple on their wedding night,
a column of smoke,
an evil-eyed woman spitting into a pail of milk.

What is behind it?
—Space, plenty of empty space.

And who is talking now?
—A man asleep under his hat.

What happens when he wakes up?
—He’ll go into a barbershop.
They’ll shave his beard, nose, ears, and hair,   
To make him look like everyone else.

Charles Simic, “Tapestry” from Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems. Copyright © 1999 by Charles Simic. Reprinted with the permission of George Braziller, Inc.
Source: Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems (George Braziller Inc., 1999)
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Tapestry

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