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Days In The Dark Of Building

John Pass
From: An Arbitrary Dictionary (Toronto: Coach House Press, 1984)



Days in the dark of building —
board on board and tile to tile.
A comfort in the tiredness
blinds me; the widows screened
against no-see-ems blur the stars

so I can't say
what vision knows — its furthest reach
requires a mind expansive and specific

and mine sighs, Oh goodnight.
Or pioneering doggerel sorts out

dog
and cat snuggling on the deck
I built in a blur but sit on

with a view — definite trees — an acreage
to be landscaped — orchard to complement
woodlot. I'll work it for years. For my sons

I've apprehensions, don't care
for legacy, paternal imposition, clay
I felt my father fumble handling me.

But I build, deep-bearing
in fluid bonds gone concrete
a south-west exposure.
I live in it for love

the beauty of my wife in every room
her hands on cups, on sheets, on my shoulders
her heart in the diving flare

of the fuchsia, the corn's late-August
arrogance, the boys' miraculous breathing
after dark.

John Pass' works copyright © to the author.


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