poem index

This Work

Martha Zweig
The cold orange hands of the
salamanders still wrap and
unwrap the baby he dreams he was
then long before there was any human family.
Then their work was just beginning on the
damp stones and mosses too.

He had to be as little strange as
possible. They were
making the world & working on him too. He
was warmer but less
strange than a moss or a stone
was, that saved him.

The moss worked on the stone too.
The stone worked
on him like a mind he
had to grow up to talk to or
dream to but without
turning strange. The

cold hands run over him.
They read the body he
dreams of as a baby's to the
stone. Before there was any
human family the work that made him was
this work just beginning.

From What Kind by Martha Zweig. Copyright © 2003 by Martha Zweig. Reproduced by permission of Wesleyan University Press. All rights reserved.

Martha Zweig