How Huge The World Must Be

David Baker

Poems happen for me–when they happen–not in the writing but in the rewriting. They emerge.

David Baker

Dust To Dust (An Excerpt)

by David Baker
 
2.
 
All night, so far, I have waited for the train to come
calling through a cotton curtain on its breeze.
 
It always does—low as a mourning dove long minutes
over the far, darkening fields and many trees.
 
How huge the world must be to hear so far
beyond the shade, beyond the grasp of night.
 
There are apple boughs brushing my fine screen lightly.
And a dozen stars, I know, like pinpricks on an arm.
 
Before it stops, a train will hiss, grind, clatter
all the way back while its car-locks bang.
 
Then the engine at idle—hubbub, wood smoke,
and trouble in the hobo camp below the trestle.
 
How sad the world is to hear nothing for so long.
It always comes. Sweet night wind like cider.
 

5.
 
Hanging primrose breeze. Haze of barbeque.
The many children quieted by baths, put to bed—
 
they wait for the locusts’ buzz and homing trains.
One lone bat recurrent in the streetlamp glow.
 
Four blocks down the road gives way to asphalt blacktop.
But here the block stamp macon brick hasn’t rubbed off
 
the red clay bars the many fathers wrecked
their knees to pack tightly back into earth.
 
How small a world it is to want such work.
I will come here only once more to lie down too,
 
having lived to praise one thing made so well
it sings with each slow passage, rimmed
 
with sleepers safe in all their loved and many beds.
Flowers line every sidewalk down the breathing road.