These mornings, I wake feeling as if, during the night,
       I had been tried by a jury of my peers
       and found—But wait, fellow citizens! Fifty-two years
and no appeal? Is there no merciful alternate?

All those I have loved come by in a long parade,
       their faces strangely tender, etched and grave
       with my own lost intent and their belief.
Through half-closed eyelids I see those who have died,

glaring or bashful in the little tea-lights of my sleep.
       Oaring the thick medium time, they seem to yaw
       toward me in a sort of pregnant slo-mo,
but I can never read their straining lips,

and when dawn strands me in its courthouse square,
       my body heavy in the deceitful sun,
       my sentence to get through the day again,
they retire charged to their muffled chamber.

A Message from the Editors

As a reader of our efforts, you have stood with us on the front lines in the battle for culture. Learn how your support contributes to our continued defense of truth.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 28 Number 3, on page 24
Copyright © 2022 The New Criterion |