Carol Hamilton


Lingering in the library
in an armchair, among rare books,

the faded sweetness of pipesmoke, portraits
of dead patriarchs, she daydreams

of the sea and those soft blades of light
when the hills hesitate and

sails catch their breath—that reticence
painters try to paint and musicians

invoke at odd moments, in the corners
of string quartets, when the audience

has begun to shiver in their chairs
and darkness presses on the brain

like a parting kiss.

Leaving the library, she walks across the quad
in a dissonance of sunlight and cloud,

a cacophony of shouts and cries
from soccer players

looming & gleaming on the grass.

There is no distinction of place
so final as this: the body

in all its wounded gravity, the mind
with its parabolas of flight.