Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts of activism
Part VII: Poems of vision and action: a poem to tell the time by, pp. -436 PDF (2.0 MB)
Etching by Richard Wilt Nancy Willard, the author of THE LIVELY ANATOMY OF GOD (Eakins) and poems in many periodicals, teaches at Vassar. A POEM TO TELL THE TIME BY Last night you packed and left home. I would guess you are almost twenty. You take your seat on this train at Albany and share your sandwich with me at Buffalo. A journey makes fathers and sons of strangers. So I will tell you how I lost everything. At sixteen I pitched straw in my father's barn, under its wishbone windows pointing to heaven. The black bull hunched like a fallen priest, the congregation of grass leaned after him, whitening toward winter and turning to hay. My grandmother was kind to Indians. She met a wolf in the fields and prayed. Where two dogs rolled one night, the parched corn stood up for joy. Where my father's plough skirted a headstone like a buoy I heard the running sleep of a stone man.