William Stanley Merwin

(September 30, 1927 / New York / United States)

Vehicles - Poem by William Stanley Merwin

This is a place on the way after the distances
can no longer be kept straight here in this dark corner
of the barn a mound of wheels has convened along
raveling courses to stop in a single moment
and lie down as still as the chariots of the Pharaohs
some in pairs that rolled as one over the same roads
to the end and never touched each other until they
arrived here some that broke by themselves and were left
until they could be repaired some that went only
to occasions before my time and some that have spun
across other countries through uncounted summers
now they go all the way back together the tall
cobweb-hung models of galaxies in their rings
of rust leaning against the stone hail from Rene's
manure cart the year he wanted to store them here
because there was nobody left who could make them like that
in case he should need them and there are the carriage wheels
that Merot said would be worth a lot some day
and the rim of the spare from bald Bleret's green Samson
that rose like Borobudur out of the high grass
behind the old house by the river where he stuffed
mattresses in the morning sunlight and the hens
scavenged around his shoes in the days when the black
top-hat sedan still towered outside Sandeau's cow barn
with velvet upholstery and sconces for flowers and room
for two calves instead of the back seat when their time came


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Read poems about / on: river, together, rose, house, green, dark, time, flower



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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