You come to me in thick old roots of night
While trucks are changing gears, although you kiss
Like a slack orchid tongue in Cairns, and I
Can’t make you out, and so you call to me

At afternoon in a light rain when dreams
Go whirling in Saigon under wet heat
So I can hear your voice, although the wind
Will wrap me in a house made out of grief

Which tells me nothing new, and so you rise
In smells of mint or fine young April light
As though you were a cat with arching back
Who wants attention now, so I must stir

Myself, and listen for you in the blood
That breaks upon my ear, and in odd gaps
Between the jokes my daughters love, for you
Have something big to tell me, people say,

Beneath the sweetest and the lowest note
Of waxwings splashing back from Mexico,
Way down beneath the groaning of night trucks,
And down, way down, beneath the first warm wind.

Articles by Robert B. Shaw

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