by Richard Moore
Weak sun-rays out of winter cloud;
the dusty windowpane crossed once by a dark bird.
In a far room the baby cries aloud;
between us two, no word.
But heightened by the lonely cry,
tropical silence in us sets its traps and harkens.
Old grudges deepen and intensify,
and outside the sky darkens.
Under the books, the knickknack shelves,
the shreds of cobweb that still hold our lives together,
we penetrate the jungles of ourselves.
Bombs burst, touched by a feather.
Can no one stop this dull, mad war?
Each still avoids the otherís unimpassioned kiss.
O, we no longer know what we longed for.
Maybe it was this.
Copyright © 1968 by Richard Moore. This poem was originally published
in Supernation at Peace and War by Dan Wakefield, Boston: Little
Brown and Company, 1968, and is included in Moore's first book of poetry,
A Question of Survival, University of Georgia Press, 1971.