Even in deep
Indian summer all wore hats.

Always before the end out they
stooped a rank at a time
to waiting buses.

Not a face dead
across could you read
close up. Once I grabbed
a freshman’s spyglasses the nearer
to observe for the science of the occasion.

a clicked pass or
first down
rush.

None stood or cheered.
None appeared
to move.

I knew then why
we used that word,
that time’s handle for
those like them brought be-
neath ticking toward Thanksgiving
dour squat suns in coal country gone sour

for an hour frozen in retreat
from the Athens State
Hospital, insane .