December 15, 2006

As the pages turn, my eyes are glued

dana ellyn, get mother a drink, 2006

Three poems by James Wright, from The Branch Will Not Break:

A Prayer to Escape from the Marketplace

I renounce the blindness of the magazines
I want to lie down under a tree
This is the only duty that is not death.
This is the everlasting happiness
Of small winds.
A pheasant flutters, and I turn
Only to see him vanishing at the damp edge
Of the road.

The Undermining of the Defense Economy

Stairway, face, window,
Mottled animals
Running over the public buildings.
Maple and elm.
In the autumn
Of early evening,
A pumpkin
Lies on its side,
Turning yellow as the face
Of a discharged general.
It's no use complaining, the economy
Is going to hell with all these radical
Girls the color of butterflies
That can't be sold.
Only after nightfall,
Little boys lie awake,
Wondering, wondering,
Delicate little boxes of dust.

Fear is What Quickens Me

Many animals that our fathers killed in America
Had quick eyes.
They stared about wildly,
When the moon went dark.
The new moon falls into the freight yards
Of cities in the south,
But the loss of the moon to the dark hands of Chicago
Does not matter to the deer
In this northern field.

What is that tall woman doing
There, in the trees?
I can hear rabbits and mourning doves whispering together
In the dark grass, there
Under the trees.

I look about wildly.


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