Donald Hall Dark Poems
- 1. Sudden Things
A storm was coming, that was why it was dark. The wind was blowing the fronds of the palm trees off. They were maples. I looked out the window across the big lawn. The house was huge, full of children and old people. The lion was loose. Either because of the wind, or by malevolent human energy, which is the same thing, the cage had come open. Suppose a child walked outside!
A child walked outside. I knew that I must protect him from the lion. I threw myself on top of the child. The lion roared over me. In the branches and the bushes there was suddenly a loud crackling. The lion cringed. I looked up and saw that the elephant was loose!
- 2. Name Of Horses
All winter your brute shoulders strained against collars, padding
and steerhide over the ash hames, to haul
sledges of cordwood for drying through spring and summer,
for the Glenwood stove next winter, and for the simmering range.
- 3. Olives
"Dead people don't like olives,"
I told my partners in eighth grade
dancing class, who never listened
as we fox-trotted, one-two, one-two.
- 4. Wolf Knife
In the mid August, in the second year
of my First Polar Expedition, the snow and ice of winter
almost upon us, Kantiuk and I
attempted to dash the sledge
- 5. Christmas Party At The South Danbury Church
we gather at the white Church festooned
red and green, the tree flashing
green-red lights beside the altar.
- 6. The Alligator Bride
The clock of my days winds down.
The cat eats sparrows outside my window.
Once, she brought me a small rabbit
which we devoured together, under