On The Edge1963Beaten like an old houndWhimpering by the stove,I complicate the painThat smarts with promised love.The oilstove falls, the rain,Forecast, licks at my wound;Ice forms, clips the green shoot,And strikes the wren house mute.May commoner and king,The barren bride and nunBegrudge the season's dues.May children curse the sun,Sweet briar and grass refuseTo compromise the spring,And both sower and seedChoke on the summer's weed.Those promises we heardWe heard in ignorance;The numbered days we named,And, in our innocence,Assumed the beast was tamed.On a bare limb, a bird,Alone, arrived, with wingsFrozen, holds on and sings.
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