Debtor's Prison Road
They let me go
at night, minus my timepiece, lighter,
personal effects. The air is always shaking
the same jars of safety pins: cicadas.
Song is my recidivism: always
I'm abandoning the road to stand
(unwatched, unseconded) in someone's
field. The stars (that are not mine)
tick fitfully, they always have
appointments. Punctual, six-sharp,
they are David's; they have lodged in his
death tent, have stuck in his mud sleep. Bad luck
leaves me a loan: no company, no katy-
did or promissory
note or night
loses its nerve,
the old saw its eyeteeth and I
my words—my alwaysing and my.
In hush the repossessors reach
the edges of the field. They pass
for shadows, sheep of ambush, animals of
permanence. They turn a black beyond returning
and they haunt the sleepless. I don't count,
who cannot earn my keep.
Heather McHugh's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Debtor's Prison Road by Heather McHugh )
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
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- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- The Mousetrap, Herbert Nehrlich
- Mother to Son, Langston Hughes
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