BY THE MEADOWS OF HAY BALES
By the meadows of hay bales
and daffodils, of corn husk and pig shit,
I lived in a forgettable little hamlet
in sincere Ohio. When I wished those scents
could take me back to my temple out of town —
the pinewoods of the 19th century —
I forget, in my retreat from the world, I was
already gloomy, choosing the company
of insects and voles, friends of the invisible.
There I was spared the satisfactions
of purse and purse string. A good plan
to live by: I survived a tornado, a marriage,
and a war, laughing at my local cosmos,
a leveled panorama of stone and clay.
A little heaven with no one near.
Many loved the sheen of cheerfulness
but my scalpel and I, we made a face there.