in darkness and in hedges
I sang my sour tone
and all my love was howling
You must call up every strength you own
And you can rip off the whole facial mask.
And you, whiner, who wastes your time
Dawdling over the remorseless earth,
What evil, what unspeakable crime
Have you made your life worth?
Late April and you are three; today
We dug your garden in the yard.
To curb the damage of your play,
Strange dogs at night and the moles tunneling,
Four slender sticks of lath stand guard
Uplifting their thin string.
So you were the first to tramp it down.
And after the earth was sifted close
You brought your watering can to drown
All earth and us. But these mixed seeds are pressed
With light loam in their steadfast rows.
Child, we’ve done our best.
I’ve been accused of humanizing the Nazis, to which I can only say, you can’t blame me for that. God did that. Go talk to him. It’s a strange thing for an atheist to say.
I have not learned how often I Can win, can love, but choose to die.
The sleek, expensive girls I teach,
Younger and pinker every year,
Bloom gradually out of reach.
I taught myself to name my name,
To bark back, loosen love and crying;
To ease my woman so she came,
To ease an old man who was dying.