Skip to main content

Setting the Angel Free

ISSUE:  Summer 1987
A late November morning, full of weeds
and falling aspirations.
                   The world,
from our perspective, is foreshadowed;
we walk through fields of graying leaves.

The sky is iron-lidded. Dead tracery
lies everywhere:
           battered hulls about our feet,
veins, now dry as chalk and worn,
to their olden patterns, tapestry
of frosted glass whose point of view is shattered.

A luminous breath has etched the hedgerows.

Now a cardinal,
               a single spot of color,
breaks from the bushes, heading west,
but can only go so far.

the watery sun, a single, unmoving eye,
takes us all in:
               skeletons of the elms,
two muffled figures, a blotch of red.
In what particular context
will it place us?

        Only that of simple things.
Motion notwithstanding,
               and variations
on that theme, depth is clearly limited
by single-mindedness.

            The view of two
is prelude to the give-and-take
of bodies,
          which may ultimately lead
to love.

       And this is what we seem to need
to keep us hale, to help us see
from inside-out
             and upside-down

          Assume, for instance,
that the elms in winter imitate the bears
and bring their slowed-down pulses underground
to blossom,
       in inverted,
            dream-like splendor,
in the warm, forgiving contours of the earth.

Then, conversely, as a heart may live
in undifferentiated darkness
for a spell,
           it may brave the light,
beat out from under cover and give
to the view of the rest of the world
a bit of color, which,
           like a kite in the wind,
in the leaden embrace of an autumn sky,
will tug at its moorings
              and shine.


By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Recommended Reading