Obscure, the unpromised land
Now and again unshrouds itself.
Each time offering wisps and clues
Though hardly an invitation.
First, that is no garden, hung
South of frost and invasion.
Or any such fiction. It is earth,
Needing terraces, ditches, wells,
The stooping back’s daylong persuasion.
The people? Are like ourselves, only
They are already there. They carry
Things in hand: an old jug,
A basket with leather handles, objects
Flawed and defined by use. They walk
Almost everywhere. They can name
Weeds, birds, stones. They have watched human death.
Their women grow old proudly.
Their work is hard, so they sleep soundly.
How easy to argue for, how difficult
To undertake! Everything trails us,
Catches at our sleeves, not least
Wariness of ourselves, of that Quixote
Riding in our minds. Someone said.
Bitterly, of the Chambre des Deputes,
“Whatever’s done there must be done on weekends.”
Well, darling, shops and banks are closing
The risks are dozing; shall we stay or go?