The Butter Festival

by Mary Ruefle

You can have all the other sadnesses,
the yellow leaf on the burnt path,
the silverware hopelessly scratched,
the evening news and the morning news,
the funeral, the rotgut, the crappy
tag sale, the dead fish seasoning the
shore, the memorial, the wake, the Ono
no Komachi poems, all of April
1998, the lunar new year murder,
English as she is spoke, and
the attempt to resist an inevitability
that you yourself created.
The fourteenth way of looking at
a blackbird is mine,
and a couple of other sad experiences
rolled into a ball of pie dough
as an object lesson in fragility
for the butter festival.