To celebrate National Poetry Month, The Poetry Box is sharing a Poem-of-the-Day, selected from various anthologies and individual poet collections that we have published over the years.
Please enjoy today’s selection: “Sacrifice” by Jeff Knorr (Sacramento Poet Laureate Emeritus), which appears in Verse on the Vine Anthology:
~ for my son
It’s the jungle and the hot
sun is being cooled
by large palmated leaves.
You and I stand in front of the pyramid
steps and we imagine life then,
what might have happened,
flaying someone open at the top
like field dressing a deer, the leader
lifting out the heart as an offering.
No, it probably didn’t happen like that,
these Mayans were peaceful people.
Later that evening at a restaurant table
in a little fishing village you sat
with your mother and I drawing the whole scene.
Sacrifice. You’ll understand it someday—
but you’re not supposed to just yet.
It’s not like standing in the drifting snow
splitting wood because we need more fire.
It’s not even like wanting to buy you
that new fishing rod for Christmas
in the window down at Sullivan’s Sporting Goods.
No, it’s because today the sun is out,
there’s a little breeze off the water
and we stand here drifting little midge
patterns to trout. And when I look at you
I think the day couldn’t be any better.
It’s because, if I do it, everything
might just be a little more beautiful.