Anthony Evan Hecht (16 January 1923 - 20 October 2004 / New York)
As though it were reluctant to be day,
.......Morning deploys a scale
.......Of rarities in gray,
And winter settles down in its chain-mail,
Victorious over legions of gold and red.
......The smokey souls of stones,
......Blunt pencillings of lead,
Pare down the world to glintless monotones
Of graveyard weather, vapors of a fen
.......We reckon through our pores.
.......Save for the garbage men,
Our children are the first ones out of doors.
Book-bagged and padded out, at mouth and nose
.......They manufacture ghosts,
.......George Washington's and Poe's,
Banquo's, the Union and Confederate hosts',
And are themselves the ghosts, file cabinet gray,
.......Of some departed us,
.......Signing our lives away
On ferned and parslied windows of a bus.
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