Mahoning (London, ON: Brick Books, 1994): 107. PS 8576 .074 M35 Robarts Library
1You couples lying
2where moon-scythes and day-scythes reaped you,
3browning fruit falls and sleeps
4in tangled nests, the wild grass,
5falls from your apple tree that still grows here:
6cry for your dead hero, his weak sword, his flight,
7that you were slaughtered and your bed poured whiteness,
8the issue of murdered marriage dawns.
9The streets crack, a house falls open to the air,
10sun and rain lie on the bed.
11And the river still runs in a child's hands
12under the factory's black hulk,
13four stacks that used to bloom with smoke
14over shining leaves, beneath thunderheads.
15Then the storm
16shatters and beats and after
18a scented smoke of light,
19a dripping quiet, and the small gold snake
20sparkles at the pond's edge.
21But who is he? What were
22the goods he made, what became of his loved wife,
23his children, and where
24has he gone, fearsome, powerless? The silver
25path of air from the river's bend to its rippling away
26beneath the low concrete bridge
27is still pure. No one comes, and the child
28who watched by it has vanished.
29Or sometimes he appears for a day, a night,
30in the walls and windows reflected on the water,
31in goldfinches' flight, cricket song, the heron's great
32rise from the bank. Last a carp leaps,
33voices and a lantern slide down the secret stream
34in black and gold peace,
35past the child's husk, the family never born.
RPO poem Editors:
<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Albert Frank Moritz or the Brick Books permissions department.</b>