Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Anglo-Saxon Dirge

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Anglo-Saxon Dirge

Article excerpt

Few have been touched in this way O strong broad hand that made

Those Sunday morning breakfasts O Father shaper of biscuits

Whose palm on my shoulder soothed me whenever life dealt me lousy

Hands like big Zach Storm destroying my sandbox farm

Everything gone including my pathetic "windmill" whose turning

Stopped when he snapped in two the pinwheel which he threw

Into the field-weeds' sprawl Later I've been told

He snapped and stabbed his wife That somehow fails to surprise

As I think of you these days it's as though I squint through haze

Which seems more and more to sprawl over all I want to recall

Self-regarding the things I conjure to others perhaps mere sugar

So be it Your manner of lifting each little finger gripping

The paddle in your canoe like some satiric cartoon

Of a self-regarding snob raising his idiot cup

Hands hauling guys of hemp for that obsolete canvas tent

(Ma called it Papa 's Slum) to raise it up The fumes

Within of rodent urine and human exhalation

Seem almost palpable in the genuine etymological

Latin sense of the word Stop it I think You 're absurd

Am I losing touch? …

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