All afternoon the wind complained, and the willows
would have come to blows—but yielded
(being willows), swimming along the air.

Thick with purposes, the same wind—squealing,
rocketing down my narrow veins,
     taking the corners fast—

spun out into a hurricane in my heart
and made of my will a weather-vane—
     reading every gust—

that shifts at the wind’s direction and, too willing,
hoarse on its hinges, bats in vain
and croaks and spins, not getting anywhere.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 26 Number 6, on page 32
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