Winter 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1986 |

Shadows

Everyone knows the great energies running amok cast terrible shadows, that each of the so-called senseless acts has its thread looping back through the world and into a human heart.   And meanwhile the gold-trimmed thunder wanders the sky; the river may be filling the cellars of the sleeping town. Cyclone, fire, and their merry cousins   bring us to grief—but these are the hours with the old wooden-god faces; we lift them to our shoulders like so many black coffins, we continue walking into the future. I don't mean   there are no bodies in the river, or bones broken by the wind. I mean everyone who has heard the lethal train-roar of the tornado swears there was no mention ever of any person, or reason—I mean   the waters rise without any plot upon history, or even geography. Whatever power of the earth rampages we turn to it dazed but anonymous eyes; whatever the name of the catastrophe, it is never   the opposite of love.

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