Tuesday, December 5, 2023

"Cross Ties"

Out walking ties left over from a track
Where nothing travels now but rust and grass,
I half-believe in something that would pass
Growing to hurtle from behind my back
And when the night wind slams by, give a start:
Out of its mass the disembodied wail
Of a far night-shift like a bag of mail
Is flung. Moon looms, her headbeam rips apart
A cloud and strews it. Wings thrash: down to strafe
The crouched grass drops a mousehawk. There’s a screech
As steel stretched taut till severed. Out of reach
Or else beneath desiring, I go safe,
Walk on, tensed for a leap, unreconciled
To a dark void all kindness.
                                                                When I spill
The salt I throw the Devil some and, still,
I let them sprinkle water on my child.

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