“The Mouth of the Heart”
                        ––St Augustine

Knute Skinner

Reading the saint’s Confessions,

I jotted down these five words.

But now I do not recall

what was on the saint’s mind

when he composed them.

 

I do recall believing

that the words apply to me.

 

And I do recall two times when I

gave mouth to my heart,

and each of those times turned out well.

But only for some years.

 

And I scarcely recall now those numerous times,

times when I gave mouth to my heart

entirely in vain.

 

Those times do not matter now.

 

These days, since giving mouth to my heart

for a final, decisive time,

not one of the other times

is worth thinking about.

(The Hong Kong Review, Vol. II, No. 2)