The sun, old recidivist,
returns to the scene of the crime
and coats the sycamores and the magnolias with its sallow light
and drags their protesting shadows over the glistening lawn.

And the white-faced black cat
stalks her hidden prey in the hidden leafy lane
and the magpie’s eye, drawn by tinsel glitter,
glitters in its turn as the bird turns and wheels,
following a worn black spiral to the empty sky.

You go with it past the tops of the trees
to end, perhaps, in the tangled stricture of the sassafras,
or to follow your wheels with your hair hung
in the wind, to the deserted chicken farm,
there to satisfy your seeking under its crumbling roof
amid the sharp nasal twang of departed chickens,
or to know it escaped you yesterday
and waits elusive at tomorrow’s turning.

I will use your feet to take me there from here.
I put the purpose in you year by year.
Fear not these loose and bumpy halting rhymes:
we will save this little tarnished hidden silver till it shines.

May 26, 1975

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