XXXIV

With the same heart, I said, I'll answer thee
As those, when thou shalt call me by my name--
Lo, the vain promise ! is the same, the same,
Perplexed and ruffled by life's strategy ?
When called before, I told how hastily
I dropped my flowers or brake off from a game,
To run and answer with the smile that came
At play last moment, and went on with me
Through my obedience. When I answer now,
I drop a grave thought, break from solitude;
Yet still my heart goes to thee--ponder how--


XXXIII

Yes, call me by my pet-name ! let me hear
The name I used to run at, when a child,
From innocent play, and leave the cowslips piled,
To glance up in some face that proved me dear
With the look of its eyes. I miss the clear
Fond voices which, being drawn and reconciled
Into the music of Heaven's undefiled,
Call me no longer. Silence on the bier,
While I call God--call God !--So let thy mouth
Be heir to those who are now exanimate.
Gather the north flowers to complete the south,
And catch the early love up in the late.


XXXI

Thou comest ! all is said without a word.
I sit beneath thy looks, as children do
In the noon-sun, with souls that tremble through
Their happy eyelids from an unaverred
Yet prodigal inward joy. Behold, I erred
In that last doubt ! and yet I cannot rue
The sin most, but the occasion--that we two
Should for a moment stand unministered
By a mutual presence. Ah, keep near and close,
Thou dovelike help ! and, when my fears would rise,
With thy broad heart serenely interpose:
Brood down with thy divine sufficiencies


XXIX Heart's Heaven

Sometimes she is a child within mine arms,
Cowering beneath dark wings that love must chase,--
With still tears showering and averted face,
Inexplicably fill'd with faint alarms:
And oft from mine own spirit's hurtling harms
I crave the refuge of her deep embrace,--
Against all ills the fortified strong place
And sweet reserve of sovereign counter-charms.

And Love, our light at night and shade at noon,
Lulls us to rest with songs, and turns away


Worms

Worms finer for fishing you couldn't be wishing;
I delved them dismayed from the velvety sod;
The rich loam upturning I gathered them squirming,
big, fat, gleamy earthworms, all ripe for my rod.
Thinks I, without waiting, my hook I'll be baiting,
And flip me a fish from the foam of the pool;
Then Mother beholding, came crying and scolding:
"You're late, ye young devil! Be off to the school."
So grabbing me bait-tin I dropped them fat worms in,
With globs of green turf for their comfort and cheer;


Yad Mordechai

Yad Mordechai. Those who fell here
still look out the windows like sick children
who are not allowed outside to play.
And on the hillside, the battle is reenacted
for the benefit of hikers and tourists. Soldiers of thin sheet iron
rise and fall and rise again. Sheet iron dead and a sheet iron life
and the voices all—sheet iron. And the resurrection of the dead,
sheet iron that clangs and clangs.

And I said to myself: Everyone is attached to his own lament
as to a parachute. Slowly he descends and slowly hovers


X

I have decorated this banner to honor my brother.
Our parents did not want his name used publicly
-- from an unnamed child's banner in the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The boatpond, broken off, looks back at the sky.
I remember looking at you, X, this way,
taking in your red hair, your eyes' light, and I miss you
so. I know,
you are you, and real, standing there in the doorway,
whether dead or whether living, real. -- Then Y
said, "who will remember me three years after I die?
What is there for my eye


Written In Australia

THE WIDE sun stares without a cloud:
Whipped by his glances truculent
The earth lies quivering and cowed.
My heart is hot with discontent:
I hate this haggard continent.

But over the loping leagues of sea
A lone land calls to her children free:
My own land holding her arms to me—
But oh, the long loping leagues of sea.

The grey old city is dumb with heat;
No breeze comes leaping, naked, rude,
Adown the narrow, high-walled street;


Wrinkles

For Naomi Lazard

Sometimes I can't wait until I look like Nadezhda Mandelstam.
-- Naomi Lazard

My friends are tired.
The ones who are married are tired
of being married.
The ones who are single are tired
of being single.

They look at their wrinkles.
The ones who are single attribute their wrinkles
to being single.
The ones who are married attribute their wrinkles
to being married.

They have very few wrinkles.
Even taken together,
they have very few wrinkles.


Workworn

Across the street, an humble woman lives;
To her 'tis little fortune ever gives;
Denied the wines of life, it puzzles me
To know how she can laugh so cheerily.
This morn I listened to her softly sing,
And, marvelling what this effect could bring
I looked: 'twas but the presence of a child
Who passed her gate, and looking in, had smiled.
But self-encrusted, I had failed to see
The child had also looked and laughed to me.
My lowly neighbour thought the smile God-sent,


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