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A Day Comes


ISSUE:  Summer 1984

A day comes
when it has always been winter,
will always be winter.
Witnesses said the crowd fled
through the park, chased by policemen on horseback
past the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier as the guard
was being changed,
but they are gone.
The witnesses are gone.
The day comes
when the planet stops turning.
It is February here,
late winter afternoon.
It will always be late afternoon,
neither dark nor light out.
But we cannot be bothered,
because we are asleep.
The door is locked.
Now and then somebody comes and knocks
and goes away again
back down the hall,
back down the stairs.
But we cannot be bothered,
because we are asleep
and listening, listening.
Listen.
Do you hear the wind?
We have always been asleep,
will always be asleep—
turning over
like pages on fire . . . .
Where were we?
We were listening.
No, I don’t hear it either.
The wind, the marching
boots, the burning
names . . . .

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