Books: A LOWELL SONNET

An unaccustomed ripeness in the wood; move but an inch and moldy splinters

fall in sawdust from the aluminum-paint wall,

Once loud and fresh, now aged to weathered wood.

Squalls of the seagulls' exaggerated outcry, dimmed out by fog . . . Peace, peace.

All day the words hid rusty fish-hooks. Now, heart's-ease and wormwood,

we rest from all discussion, drinking, smoking,

pills for high blood, three pairs of glasses —soaking

in the sweat of our hard-earned supremacy,

offering a child our leathery love. We're fifty,

and free! Young, tottering on the dizzying brink

of discretion once, we wanted nothing, but to be...

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