Song of Weights and MeasurementsBy Martha Silano
For there is a dram.
For there is a farthing.
A bushel for your thoughts.
A hand for your withered heights.
For I have jouled along attempting
to quire and wisp.
For I have sized up a mountain’s meters,
come down jiffy by shake to the tune
of leagues and stones.
For once I was your peckish darling.
For once there was the measure
of what an ox could plow
in a single morning.
For once the fother, the reed, the palm.
For one megalithic year I fixed my gaze
on the smiling meniscus, against the gray wall
of graduated cylinder.
For once I measured ten out of ten
on the scale of pain.
For I knew that soon I’d kiss good-bye
the bovate, the hide and hundredweight.
For in each pinch of salt, a whisper of doubt,
for in each medieval moment, emotion,
like an unruly cough syrup bottle,
uncapped. For though I dutifully swallowed
my banana doses, ascended, from welcome
to lanthorn, three barleycorns at a time,
I could not tackle the trudging, trenchant cart.
For now I am forty rods from your chain and bolt.
For now I am my six-sacked self.
Source: Poetry (March 2015)