Marcellette G. Williams was Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2001-2002.
This is an archive of the Chancellor's Web site during her tenure.

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James Tate

The Eternal Ones of the Dream

I was walking down this dirt road out
in the country. It was a sunny day in early
fall. I looked up and saw this donkey pulling
a cart coming toward me. There was no driver
nor anyone leading the donkey so far as I could
see. The donkey was just moping along. When
we met the donkey stopped and I scratched its
snout in greeting and it seemed grateful. It
seemed like a very lonely donkey, but what
donkey wouldn't feel alone on the road like that?
And then it occurred to me to see what, if anything,
was in the cart. There was only a black box,
or a coffin, about two feet long and a foot wide.
I started to lift the lid, but then I didn't,
I couldn't. I realized that this donkey was on
some woeful mission, who knows where, to the ends
of the earth, so I gave him an apple, scratched
his nose a last time and waved him on, little
man that I was.




Marcellette G. Williams

University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

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This page last updated September 14, 2001