more prehistoric Henry (mid-1970s):


It is enough to be with them,
the children like shy seedlings,
and the newspaper shedding its phrases
to the sleepy music in the squares.
It is enough to step out,
wind dusting ashes from the sill,
workmen hauling everything away,
furniture, knicknacks, loveletters
written in robin's egg, and spidery
aquamarine. A parade, they said,
is a mild form of chaos,
and so we marched, eyes closed,
to the somnolent trumpets and drums -
around the familiar four corners,
the sad mothers fainting, and dizzy
children, dazzled by flags and ice cream.
The mayor spoke under the statue
erected over the slain brigade. A breeze
touched every bowed head, leading us
to the flag-draped coffin of our lord.
Impossible to step away from summer -
the raft the river carries under us,
and the canoe of the silent ferryman,
lifting his hand for a copper penny.

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