James Arlington Wright
I was only a young man
In those days. On that evening
The cold was so God damned
Bitter there was nothing.
Nothing. I was in trouble
With a woman, and there was nothing
There but me and dead snow.
I stood on the street corner
In Minneapolis, lashed
This way and that.
Wind rose from some pit,
Another bus to Saint Paul
Would arrive in three hours,
If I was lucky.
Then the young Sioux
Loomed beside me, his scars
Were just my age.
Ain't got no bus here
A long time, he said.
You got enough money
To get home on?
What did they do
To your hand? I answered.
He raised up his hook into the terrible starlight
And slashed the wind.
Oh, that? he said.
I had a bad time with a woman. Here,
You take this.
Did you ever feel a man hold
In a hook,
And place it
In your freezing hand?
I took it.
It wasn't the money I needed.
But I took it.
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Comments about this poem (Hook by James Arlington Wright )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931)
Alfred Lord Tennyson
(6 August 1809 – 6 October 1892)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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- The Tiger, William Blake
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
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