Stephen Burt
POETICS
 
Speedy Holiday

                        for the Connecticut Sun

The air is full of it—
how every summer, how many, how they can
collide & remain in motion, a new adage
for every minute, as if the insolid
ground had become a mere surface on which the fast sun

could skate. He dug less, in that suddenly-fertile
ground, than we could expect, yet we grew as if
we had lived well together for years-- on a fast-moving
island, say, whale and dolphin traffic entertaining
us at every turn, with enough applause

to overload a mike. The bolt
of divine lightning lay concealed in the rural surround;
we pried it loose over and over by making up
our sermons in sands, in every creek and brook—
why, cough or sneeze, only, and the magic environs

of that isle might restore your health,
marking the inconsistent paraphernalia
of commerce as things to deny: keys, a sale
sign, a flimsy receipt—all recede
in favor of a gift economy driven

by gambling & enthusiasm, each win
hence prompting another ode, if you only
keep up with it. Most folks, of course, could not:
their private slowdowns and difficulties mar—
goaded acknowledgements notwithstanding—what

would otherwise have become our perfect day.

 


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