Always the caravan of sound made us halt   
to admire the swinging and the swift go-by   
of beasts with enormous hooves and heads   
beating the earth or reared against the sky.

Do not reread, I mean glance ahead to see
what has become of the colossal forms:
everything happened at the instant of passing:
the hoof-beat, the whinny, the bells on the harness,   
the creak of the wheels, the monkey’s fandango   
in double time over the elephant’s back.

When the marching was over and we were free to go on   
there was never before us a dungfall or a track
on the road-sands of any kind:
only the motion of footprints being made
crossing and recrossing in the trampled mind.

  • Virginia Hamilton Adair, “Musical Moment” from Ants on the Melon. Copyright © 1996 by Virginia Hamilton Adair. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Source: Ants on the Melon: A Collection of Poems (Random House Inc., 1996)

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