American Gothic


This light foam of wild spring clover
on a green hummock, like
a burial mound, back
to the river... O my Irish rover.

& only the plain brown smock
on a Quaker wife
(with the quincunx life-
crux) remains – to lead the flock

in a morris dance (slim track
to paradise).  American
Gothic.  Meridian
through cornland, by the clapboard shack

which was Birthplace of Herbert Hoover
where a Belgian oasis
for inscrutable Isis
echoes the cenotaph to Henry’s Clover

(the other Henry, in another city).
Wind wafts through green
montage like a has-been
Hobo, wheezing dew (for pity).

Hard to make a go of it, under
them glum St. Louee flying
spirit-flings!  Crying’s
no help – you have to be Apollinaire.

The spray, the veil, the rosy foam.
The train, the backward boots.
Minotaur, with his galoots.
Ariadne with her pigeon, humming home.


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