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Cold Spring by Train
Workshops and cafes are shut,
geese scumbling dry fields.
Breakneck Ridge is broken teeth;
Cold Spring's hammered by wind
while the day snails behind wish.
In this low stretch of sky,
the inner planets seem very near
and pallid in milk-light, the Great Bear.
At every station I've wanted to run,
den under the statue of the old soldier,
taste local honey by a fever spoon.
With every mile, I've jettisoned
some strand of hair or cell of skin.
A pile of rags: an incurious fox
crosses the tracks with a bloody mouth.
Cold Spring without its human guise,
a wandering herd of stone.
Inhabitants must be somewhere
beyond their frowsy artifacts.
hunching by coal stoves.
Outhouses, enamel basins,
spiny gables, Depression glass.
The foundry dark and quiet as--
but don't say it, even you don't
want to hear that word.
I wonder how many dreams molt
where a papery slice of lady cake
is coffined in with string.
Ever in pursuit of other lives--
those muddy boots on a porch,
sleeping frogs in Margaret's Stream,
a woman hammering chains from gold,
her neck in the soft light bared.