an I saw uttered in childhood in dread or joy, I saw the tornado coming, I saw raccoon kits dancing in the moonlight, as if the seen had been the manifestation of an imposing but not yet learned truth, one that nobody expected a child to get at the time, and written down much later to catch the mood of a memory or to let an imagined narrator drop mature understanding and play child again, as Ingeborg Bachmann might have done in her report of coming into Rome, using an incantatory in Rom sah ich over and over, in Rome I saw and did not judge, maybe to deflect what a look at the old ghetto or the antiquities had imparted, a foreknowledge of her death in a fire there, and make the imposing truth of it into a sign that child eyes could have seen but would not have had to read
Copyright 2016, Rodney Nelson
Rodney Nelson’s work began appearing in mainstream journals long ago, but he turned to fiction and did not get back to verse until the 2000s. New poems have been seen in Stickman, Big Bridge, Sand, Dead Drunk Dublin, and Poetry Bay, among other journals. He has worked as a copy editor and lives in the Great Plains.