Winter 1950 • Vol. XII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1950 |

Another House of God

How many skulls, only the gulls   Of Truro will tell, of horseshoe crabs Were tossed by a wide tide's arm, Relentless, restless, the salt sand's care.   Whether crabs are floundered Or their skulls whisper wet despairs, God on Cape Cod will grab   Each crab and set him slashing air With his feet and his beak. Solemn alarms Along the salt flats are sounded   Mournfully, like Edwards calling prayers.    How many crabs, only the gulls   Of Truro will tell, thrown on their backs, Will turn to skulls with no meshed mail Against the air. Thrashing water, his spear writhes   (Feet lash white salt the froth) And cuts the hand my son gives him, who tries To turn him up. Death cracked   By heat of the sun's white rage fires The writhes out of gills and beaks that still flail Away the sea, the boy, or froth   Violently, like Oedipus tearing his eyes.    How many curses, only the crabs   Of Truro will tell, are outshelled As t

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