Cincinnatus ponders his long-held beliefs
I shall never know again the passion of a first commitment,
the ingenuity of survival. Verdigris already taints the legacy
that will be mine until history forgets itself.
I had always believed there were those born
into elevation, others to daylight’s wranglings,
we were fallen into place as tears run down the cheeks
of the gods, to argue was to scream into a gale. Now
my creed is sea and wind.
Perhaps when I have wasted into space,
become chronology’s afterthought, both sides
will claim me as their own, bathing me
in a philosopher’s milk uddered by their expedience.
The thought of their contest exhausts me.
I will sleep tonight indeterminate
beneath the bluff that overlooks our farm,
nobler than any brow.
Other poems by Paul Scully