In the Shreve High football stadium, I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville, And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood, And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel, Dreaming of heroes. All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home. Their women cluck like starved pullets, Dying for love. Therefore, Their sons grow suicidally beautiful At the beginning of October, And gallop terribly against each other's bodies.
James Wright - 1927-1980
All right. Try this, Then. Every body I know and care for, And every body Else is going To die in a loneliness I can't imagine and a pain I don't know. We had To go on living. We Untangled the net, we slit The body of this fish Open from the hinge of the tail To a place beneath the chin I wish I could sing of. I would just as soon we let The living go on living. An old poet whom we believe in Said the same thing, and so We paused among the dark cattails and prayed For the muskrats, For the ripples below their tails, For the little movements that we knew the crawdads were making under water, For the right-hand wrist of my cousin who is a policeman. We prayed for the game warden's blindness. We prayed for the road home. We ate the fish. There must be something very beautiful in my body, I am so happy.