Karle Wilson Baker

(1878 - 1960 / United States)

Nacogdoches Speaks


I was The Gateway. Here they came, and passed,
The homespun centaurs with their arms of steel
And taut heart-strings: wild wills, who thought to deal
Bare-handed with jade Fortune, tracked at last
Out of her silken lairs into the vast
Of a Man’s world. They passed, but still I feel
The dint of hoof, the print of booted heel,
Like prick of spurs--the shadows that they cast.
I do not vaunt their valors, or their crimes:
I tell my secrets only to some lover,
Some taster of spilled wine and scattered musk.
But I have not forgotten; and sometimes,
The things that I remember rise, and hover.
A sharper perfume in some April dusk.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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