Eclipse of the Moon by Mary Susanah Robbins - HTML preview

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I want to talk to you of work —


a board creaks, and somewhere you call my name

rosy with resentment and undue shame —

I want to talk about the little spark


that perhaps is only memory, how you dress,

fire, the dust that cools, an ancient track

followed straight. The silver light comes back

each morning, but to me undue distress


rots my soul at the place where I'm fighting



cloudbursts that have no center. I return

to the echo, the whisper, the step early in the morning.

Memory can make nothing of habitual warning

that says, We sleep, sleep with nothing to learn —


but I'd talk of labor all day till the katydids sing

and the sun goes over the hill where it should rest

except that in China the day is at its best

walking in labor the streets of wide Peking


where all show their colors and share their labor,

while I

fluttering in the wind like a glaring banner

under night's sun attempt a trial of that manner

we use, we sleepers: the look, the tear, the smile.


and now we unwittingly follow that dark design

calling the ruins, relics, and twist a hair

to wear about our throats like an amulet there

to shake off evil so we will not complain.


I want to talk of construction, of planning and


East and West, and all the forgotten towers

which eons before our birth housed demi-powers

that said, You shall be trapped, trapped unwilling


in the ruins of our works and love, the board

whispering at morning too quietly to wake you

who are sleeping in the ruins of loves that shake

you —

and I let you go on sleeping without a word.


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