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You couples lyingwhere moon-scythes and day-scythes reaped you,browning fruit falls and sleepsin tangled nests, the wild grass,falls from your apple tree that still grows here:cry for your dead hero, his weak sword, his flight,that you were slaughtered and your bed poured whiteness,the issue of murdered marriage dawns.The streets crack, a house falls open to the air,sun and rain lie on the bed.And the river still runs in a child's handsunder the factory's black hulk,four stacks that used to bloom with smokeover shining leaves, beneath thunderheads.Then the stormshatters and beats and afterin woodsa scented smoke of light,a dripping quiet, and the small gold snakesparkles at the pond's edge.But who is he? What werethe goods he made, what became of his loved wife,his children, and wherehas he gone, fearsome, powerless? The silverpath of air from the river's bend to its rippling awaybeneath the low concrete bridgeis still pure. No one comes, and the childwho watched by it has vanished.Or sometimes he appears for a day, a night,in the walls and windows reflected on the water,in goldfinches' flight, cricket song, the heron's greatrise from the bank. Last a carp leaps,voices and a lantern slide down the secret streamin black and gold peace,past the child's husk, the family never born.

© Moritz Albert Frank