[Here's the title poem to the collection of B.N.'s poems that we've been posting on Robert Frost's Banjo over the past several months; it's also the penultimate poem in the collection. Enjoy!]
The world darkens into an unrecognizable form
Until even the latch on your
Own door eludes you.
Scattered throughout town tea pots cool
In empty kitchens, and after a while the little
Kerosene lamps flickered and went out.
Yet the town was not deserted—
Saturday afternoon in the cinema
The projectionist asleep by the third reel, and
That first night the neighboring dogs,
Moving wolf shadows, turned their terrible heads
And eyed you crossing the cow pasture.
By dawn they seemed to recede in
A damp fog, big, innocent, treading
The Roman stones in another direction.
Winter did not come those next few days, and
From the top of the hill you could just make
Out the road into town,
Near the marshes where the wooden handles of farm tools
Lost or dropped forever turned to stone
Houses and barns are abandoned.
Two days later in a village twelve kilometers north
People had taken to digging their own graves
Swinging spades, pickaxes and pails.
You watched the corollas in an ordinary flower,
Opening as deftly as the fierce heat
Trembling in the world's outstretched hand.
© to the author 1983-2010