Issue 82, Winter 1981
Often I gazed at you in wonder: stood at the window begun
the day before, stood and gazed at you in wonder. As yet the new town
seemed denied to me, and the unpersuaded landscape kept darkening
as though I didn’t exist. Even the nearest things
made not the slightest effort to be understood. The road
thrust itself up to the streetlamp: I saw it was a stranger.
Across the way, a room: clarified in the lamplight,
accessible; already I took part; they felt that, and closed the shutters.
Stood. Then a child cried. I knew that the mothers
were all around, in the houses—what they could do; and knew also,
all at once, the inconsolable causes of all tears.
Or a voice sang, and reached out a little beyond
expectation; or downstairs an old man let out
a cough full of reproach, as though his body were in the right
against the mild world. Then the hour
struck—but I counted too late, it tumbled on past me. . . .