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Albert Frank Moritz (1947-)

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              1You couples lying
              2where moon-scythes and day-scythes reaped you,
              3browning fruit falls and sleeps
              4in tangled nests, the wild grass,
              5falls from your apple tree that still grows here:
              6cry for your dead hero, his weak sword, his flight,
              7that you were slaughtered and your bed poured whiteness,
              8the issue of murdered marriage dawns.
              9The streets crack, a house falls open to the air,
            10sun and rain lie on the bed.
            11And the river still runs in a child's hands
            12under the factory's black hulk,
            13four stacks that used to bloom with smoke
            14over shining leaves, beneath thunderheads.
            15Then the storm
            16shatters and beats and after
            17in woods
            18a scented smoke of light,
            19a dripping quiet, and the small gold snake
            20sparkles at the pond's edge.
            21But who is he? What were
            22the goods he made, what became of his loved wife,
            23his children, and where
            24has he gone, fearsome, powerless? The silver
            25path of air from the river's bend to its rippling away
            26beneath the low concrete bridge
            27is still pure. No one comes, and the child
            28who watched by it has vanished.
            29Or sometimes he appears for a day, a night,
            30in the walls and windows reflected on the water,
            31in goldfinches' flight, cricket song, the heron's great
            32rise from the bank. Last a carp leaps,
            33voices and a lantern slide down the secret stream
            34in black and gold peace,
            35past the child's husk, the family never born.


Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Albert Frank Moritz or the Brick Books permissions department.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Mahoning (London, ON: Brick Books, 1994): 107. PS 8576 .074 M35 Robarts Library
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/7/22


Other poems by Albert Frank Moritz