One Wind

— for my father


Heart’s red fountain; can it soak 
the dun acres? North, 
an arid wind; 
and what does it intend? 
Cover, cover the earth, 
tangle the hair he stroked.

Bright fountain; can it soak 
the bitter soil? West, 
an arid wind; 
and what does it intend? 
Undo the few things blessed, 
unhang his scarf and cloak.

Red fountain, saturate 
the sandy plain. An arid wind 
made the weathervane grate, 
blew to the East 
and has not ceased, 
blew hard and made him bend.

I heard him choke 
in a brittle field where a south 
and arid wind 
still blows as it intends. 
It parched his puzzled mouth, 
blew far his risen smoke,

blows far and never ends.

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