For Yeats


August's end we meet
on road in woods
berry ripe; so heavy
trees threaten
to skin themselves.

Air sweats, sky drags
around our heads.
Lives shift, turning over
on full stomachs.

Even the road moves--
on fat worms,
one layer on all the others,
moving.

We are thick with silence.
Summer tongues
ready to fall,
words purpled for picking.

A chainsaw wails across miles.
Whatever limb severed
crashes hard on all the years
and makes no noise.

1980 John Goss