In that high winter country
where the stars seem more at home,
where words are accustomed
to fail, and the old men
are lean but not hungry,
often by evening the light grew
so pure, things became congruent
with themselves. Soon not even
the quietest thought could get over
that circle of hills. Soon we could tell
in the pitch black each of the prominent
stones of the cowpath.
Often a nighthawk blared from his coven
or a true hawk hung by a nerve
or a redwing sheared from the roadside
like Lucifer having his day,
aiming straight for the eye of the needle,
one little cuff wound left on each sleeve.
Breaking stride above Little Spruce
he turns to a squiggle in the sky.
The squiffle shrinks to a speck
and enters the grain of the light.
The backlit ridge comes up like a curve
too fast on a country road.
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