Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg
The picture is a good one. It was taken forty-five years ago today.
Two white-haired poets sitting knee to knee on a leather couch,
Caught between phrases, counting the rails in each lonely mile.
No one has been to the moon � we can�t write about that yet,
Not that we ever would. Did you read my book? Of course not.
How many poems can one endure? I hear they�re using it in schools.
Heads together, coats and ties, shiny shoes on the hardwood floor,
Sandburg�s toes turned inward, hands clasped upon his knees,
Knuckles white � it�s been ten years, you know. Ten long years.
Where did they go? Everyone�s polite, but they think we�re relics now.
Institutions, that�s what we are. They need us to fill the room.
But the girls at lunch were pretty, like hesitant, wild-eyed does.
Two tramps in mud time, The road less traveled, Lay me on an anvil,
Let me pry loose old walls, Let me lift and loosen old foundations �
I can�t bear the music now, but I do love dresses above the knee.
There are no new constellations. My mother is dead and gone.
She wandered into the parlor, humming, and never quite returned.
Yes. It�s the same with me. But it still felt good to get up this morning.
May 2, 2005
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