Easter 1991All changed, changed utterly:A terrible beauty is born.
Something has rolled from its cave
and under the fence
of the Botanic Garden, onto the sidewalk:
a handful of thorns,
their hour come and gone, a hedgehog half-risen,
dead leaves cast off—
see the place where it lay in the underbrush,
a sleepy grenade?
Now it drowses in the open, back from the dead
of English winter,
stunned by the dizzying half-warm sun. The stone rolled away.Two men all in white stood by the tomb—
if I've seen them,
I haven't known them for what they were,
young men from the next island
passing for young men here, the gray ones
down on their luck, perhaps,
who've eked enough for a pint and a game
of darts at the local pub.
Somewhere, in a potting shed, something waits
to be transformed utterly—
bags of fertilizer, lengths of pipe—
into a homemade bomb.
A briefcase left at the railway station,
a pane of glass
sent flying by the blast, a shattered rain
on the chosen "soft target"—
this is the beauty of terror, the glass
in the midst of all
the terrorist knows, who calls the radio station
from Her Majesty's pay phone.
Minute by minute a timer ticks
for ambushed husband,
gun-running priest. Why do you seek the living among the dead? Come seethe place where he lay, then go quickly. Do not be terrified.
Rough beast that bristled at the suggestion
that it move—
for its thorns we cast lots.
It played dead,
rolled into a ball you rolled under the fence
back into winter,
your palm pierced for your trouble.
We have bowed
at its feet, the leathery dark
of the dead.
We could not number all its spines.Submitted by C. Dale Young
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