What a relief
to speak what can hurt nobody:
“. . . Crows from the north came early . . .”
implying nothing, only
a hard winter and a difference
in crows (the winter ones
soaring more, cawing in flight more,
like ravens); and, to a sawyer, perhaps, that the years also
are sawed into lengths and seasons
by a ragged alternation of black-
quilled rakers and cutters, rasping
2 to and fro, north and south.
Push and pull push and pull,
half a yard only, my own
alternation goes. No talent’s
required, only standing in one place. How much
more should one ask, though,
when whatever’s gone is gone
and what is to-come-or-not-come nothing
can reach, and what we have
we have only on balance?
One is happiest sawing wood, I guess,
balanced there over the cut—as much
pull as push—as the blood goes—
from the heart, then toward it;
or the breath goes, or a fiddle bow.
We’re at home somehow
where a balance is.
So much is out of reach.
The banties going to roost
in the lilac and apple branches,
the last light high up the hill,
the blue-gray and gold slow
soundless catastrophes of the clouds,
crows flying eastward;
the heart’s-desire . . . the mind’s dominion . . .
by Peter Kane Dufault