There was no landscape so hard
he could not return
with its poetry.
And there it was—the champagne
hidden in the bathroom,
the blocked ear, the peacock
strutting through
the labourer’s dining room;
everything we had missed
out of self-regard or loftiness. People who die in the stories die simply,
for no point, and those left
can only comfort,
not turn away. Now the teacher
leaves the room, and the students
hush under the loud clock.
Whatever they can see
through the window, the flat earth too poor and dry for growing, they are on their own.
— Jeffrey Skinner