Prospects for the new year
The ruined families from America are cast up
on the shore of the New World. Even when
shipwrecked, they carry the burlap baggage
of their longing inland, dripping along the way.
From my high window I see this train of traffic.
Some haul their sorrow back, others haul it forth.
I carry, too, an echo from years ago when
asked to his wedding and, instead, I stayed home.
That was how I forgave him for not wanting me.
The Lord ordained this, and the gray overcast
from which the snow soon falls and the salt hills
whose melting moves the babble of traffic.
You'd think insight would take away bad habits,
as winter strips the trees, but there's inertia
in flesh that keeps it fixed to a course in spite
of the wish that would draw us up, not down.
In time we unload our cargo of doom, drop it
like a lost glove in the winter's slush. That's fine,
my philosophy never fit their politics, anyway,
and still I can reach out with only one cold hand.
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