Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BRACELET, by KAREN SWENSON



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THE BRACELET, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Two days I bargained over this brass round
Last Line: "not at least the way we would mind, for sure."
Subject(s): Indonesia; Jewelry & Jewelers; Tourists; Travel; Dutch East Indies; Journeys; Trips


Two days I bargained over this brass round
of beasts that, breaching from each other, ring
my wrist. A man at a batik-stall frowned,
admiring his tribe's artistry, the sting
of loss in his smile, as he congratulated
me on my low price. Without understanding
the myths, it bought the bronze curve they created.
The Mobil-oil wife guides her in-laws on blue
Lake Toba while the ferry's decibels
of sixties' rock drown her captions on the view,
her news that all the tribes were cannibals
before the Dutch converted them. "The crew,"
she tells me, "don't seem to mind being poor,
not at least the way we would mind, for sure."





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