Men wrap the bushes.
Schoolteachers bundle their charges
and send them onto the playground
to grow. To be gilded
by a light aging whatever leaves
it breaks through. Today the world is all
behind curtains. Take down the linen ones,
the damask, the cretonne. Sheet the chairs
to the plainchant of what birds remain.
This is the end. No, this is the entr’acte
in a harvest pageant. There is Plenty
caught napping by Frost looking
for a place to corner the girl
who plays Sun, and try to kiss her
through her cardboard spikes.
She covers the ticklish moment with a sigh
turned laugh, a breeze too coldly clear
for any melting. What can’t be moved
by force of argument can still
be put away. Take down the canopy,
strip the high bed, and cover it.
Now it looks as familiar as bread or snow.
This house in the present, shrouded,
as contained as death, is where we must live.