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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts of activism
(1969)

Willard, Nancy
Part VII: poems of vision and action: a poem to tell the time by,   pp. [434]-436 PDF (2.0 MB)


Page [435]


The next year I packed and left.
Like a cavity in my tooth, the city throbbed.
For thirty years I painted its heart white,
courting it from scaffolds with colors and cries,
licking its bridges silver, its offices gold.
Now I am black as the air I breathe.
On hundreds of screens, in eyeballs turning to metal,
cowboys and Indians settle an old score.
I stride into Woolworth's and purchase a pistol.
From my window I can shoot the new leaves
off the tree of heaven. Each night I kneel
in sleep to spigots and boilers and hear
the slow leak in my heart. By the ocean
a child frayed as a dishrag taps my knee.
What time do they turn off the water?
Each night I shoot the black bull
who knows the way home and won't tell.
Etching by Richard Wilt


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