after Gwendolyn Brooks
. . .
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I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly? . . .
From the kindness of my parents
I suppose it was that I held
that belief about suffering . . .
In 1915 my grandfather’s
neighbors surrounded his house . . .
I don’t know somehow it seems sufficient
to see and hear whatever coming and going is,
losing the self to the victory . . .
As I wandered on the beach
I saw the heron standing
Sunk in the tattered wings . . .
Some say it’s in the reptilian dance
of the purple-tongued sand goanna,
for there the magnificent translation . . .
I tell you, hopeless grief is passionless;
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air . . .
Tell me the way to the wedding
Tell me the way to the war,
Tell me the needle you’re threading . . .