- Max Bolno
Winters sometimes I have seen you,
Winds tearing at my roof-slats like fingernails, against their common will.
On such nights as those I find repose
Indoors, a fire, warmth iniquitous to snow.
In winters such as those I’ve sometimes seen you.
Perhaps a clack or batter from my barn,
A door unhinged will tightly draw my spine;
With thudding blow my heart will let me know:
Ajar I’ve left what’s mine, my barn exposed
Somewhere, in the dark, while I had found repose.
And bearing through the sleet I’ve sometimes seen you,
Hideous, doer of foul deeds,
I’ve seen your mangled beard and duffle coat:
You’ve stood inside the barn that is my own,
Laughing, gaping-mouthed as I barred the doors to close.
Or perhaps, on another occasion, fire burning slow,
The sight of ember’s glow will round my cornered soul.
Alight by inner tinge I’ll lift my torpid bones and go
By the wings of faint vocation to the pane of my window.
And sometimes, then, in winters, I have seen you.
Hands behind my back, my face hung slack with dormant brow
I’ll fog the window’s glaze with humid breath.
And raising up my cuff to clear a view,
I’ll note, as I seldom do, the subtle-boiling rumble of my blood:
Its warmth, I sense, iniquitous to you.
I’ve strained my vision through the frosted glass, on such days:
Your own hands held crossed behind your back, you stand
With secret knowing up on snow-drift hill;
In cornered hat, you look the part of captain.
And in winded silence, you suggest our allegiance.