Summer 1958 • Vol. XX No. 3 Poetry |

Christmas Eve in Whitneyville, 1955

to my father December, and the closing of the year; The momentary carolers complete Their Christmas Eves, and quickly disappear Into their houses on each lighted street. Each car is put away in each garage; Each husband home from work, to celebrate,Has closed his house around him like a cage, And wedged the tree until the tree stood straight. Tonight you lie in Whitneyville again, Near where you lived, and near the woods or farms Which Eli Whitney settled with the men Who worked at mass-producing firearms. The main-street, which was nothing after all Except a school, a stable, and two stores, Was improvised and individual, Picking its way alone, until the wars. Now Whitneyville is like the other places, Ranch-houses stretching flat beyond the square, Same stores and movie, same composite faces Speaking the language of the public air. Old buildings loiter by this cemetery. When you were twelve, they dressed you up in black With five companions from the class,

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