Cool weather at last! The air, this morning, was
all filled with fine rain, like a Pointillist painting;
the clouds were bulbous airships, all across
what I could see of my country. Darkening
heads of the berry bushes hung down in the mist
and cowered slightly, slightly shivering.
This time of waiting: almost everyone I know
seems half-afraid, half-confident, admits
peering into the Future. We are peering through
a glass-bead curtain at a large field lit
with bonfires, or are holding those
glass paperweights you shake, the scenes indefinite.
And as I now remember how the blithering heat
rose, from the earth, in curved transparent waves,
I celebrate the calm, this calm and wet
morning after and before the shaking trees
go simply motionless as August nights,
their vagueness darkening, leaves upon the paths.
The moments shimmer. All the moments of our
are like the dazzling confetti swirling down
into paperweights or on parades. One tries
to hold the moments but they swirl around, around
until they fall. Answers, not replies,
emerge, like echoes, and rebound, rebound.
And I was thinking of your life and mine: the way
it seemed the wind could take us, how we let
each day decide itself. But I could not outstay
your hesitations, live in silhouette,
pretend that I was satisfied with interplay,
forget the moments you could willfully forget.
Cool weather, and whatever is to come—
rain, more heatspells, or the years as bland
as shredded paper, I am ready. Into the Future, dumb,
like my heart without your fingers on my wrist, your hand
against my chest, I fall or walk. The minimum
price I paid you was the price you understand.
I am sitting on a lawn before an oblong lake,
studying the rain, the thousand circles etched
upon the water. Pain, sadness, death—these may overtake
me sooner and more suddenly than I can guess.
And now I’m in a painting. In it, breaks
a sunfish for a moment, and the waters stretch.
© Dick Allen