Was it his house that burned
all night until the dawn
put it out? Was he the one

who said that his heart,
which was not sacred, told him
this earth belonged to no one?

When a bent man returned,
his tangled, yellowing hair blown
in his eyes like a boy’s

and stood in the morning square
with the winter sun beading
his cheeks, stood still among

school children on their way,
hawkers, cutters, and slammers,
and the wives of other men, there was

no one to recall how hard the wind
blew the day he set out to save
us all, and how he did.

This Issue

April 29, 1976