For a Theophoric Figure
Allen Grossman, in memoriam
Strange how first things dawn on us
late in the game,
again and again.
Just last week, for instance,
of a young man’s lines that appeared on a page,
black flames on a blaze of white—
the year I was born:
The bell pursues me, they said, it is time …
to sigh in the ears of my children.
and do still, though their maker has died,
and I, a scribe to that living word
he carried toward his distant God
across diasporas of imperfection,
try now to lift it ever
so slightly higher, or longer on high,
as I’m able, that force
he rode for the span of more than his life
out of the Eden of his mind like a river….