Saturday, August 22, 2020

Tomorrow Again

Tomorrow, at dawn, somewhat miraculously,
The landlord in Rotterdam unbombed
Will raise the quayside shutters, polish his glasses and cups,
And arrange them again in glittering ranks.

And at dusk, somewhere between Tiel and Nijmegen,
The bell ringers will assemble again and spit in their hands
Before grasping the sallies.

Peasants near Pforzheim
Will hack with mattocks at frost-bitten grass
In a field that looks and sounds, once more, as hard as iron,

While heavy-whiskered Viennese cabbies
Will straighten the blankets on their horses' quarters
And give them their feed in buckets.

And students, scholars, monks and clerks,
In ones and twos, will rise again from straw
And spur along the highways, uncertain of a roof,
Reciting Plato, Shakespeare, Horace, Villon
As they go.

All those who hold their ground and keep the continent in place--
The constant widows, landlords, blacksmiths, bargemen--
Will eye their coming,

Then hear their plans,
Raise a brow, signal them to wait,
Bring down a long stone bottle
And some bread to share

~Michael Duggan