restricted access Daughter
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What flows what balances In it. Douglas, power-hang in it all now, for all The whole thing is worth: catch without warning Somewhere in the North Georgia creek like ghost-muscle tensing Forever, or on the high grass-bed Yellow ofdawn, catch like a man stamp-printed by Godshock , blue as the very foot Offire. Catch into the hunted Horns ofthe buck, and thus into the deepest hearingNerveless , all bone, bone-tuned To leaves and twigs-with the grass drying wildly When you woke where you stood with all the blades rising Behind you, and stepped out possessing the trail, The racked bramble on either side shining Like a hornet, your death drawing life From growth from flow, as in the gill-cleansing turn Ofthe creek or from the fountain-twist Offlight, that rounds you Off, and shies you downwind Side-faced, all-seeing with hunger, And over this, steep and straight-up In the eagle's mile Let Adam, far from the closed smoke ofmills And blue as the foot Ofevery flame, true-up with blind-side outflash The once-more instantly Wild world: over Brasstown Bald Splinter uncontrollably whole. Daughter Hospital, and the fathers' room, where light Won't look you in the eye. No emergency But birth. I sit with the friend, and listen The Eagle)s Mile / 446 To the unwounded clock. Indirectly glowing, he is grayer, Unshaven as I. We are both old men Or nearly. He is innocent. Yet: What fathers are waiting to be born But myself, whom the friend watches With blessed directness? No other man but a worker With an injured eyeball; his face had been there When part ofan engine flew up. A tall nurse blotted with ink And blood goes through. Something written On her? Blood ofmy wife? A doctor with a blanket Comes round a blind corner. ''Who gets this little girl?" I peer into wool: a creature Somewhat strangely more than red. Dipped in fire. No one speaks. The friend does not stir; he is innocent Again: the child is between Me and the man with one eye. We battle in the air, Three-eyed, over the new-born. The doctor says, "All right, now. Which one ofyou had a breech baby?" All around I look: look at the possible Wounded father. He may be losing: he opens his bad eye. I half-close one ofmine, hoping to win Or help. Breech baby. I don't know. I tell my name. Taking the doctor by his arms Around her, the child offire moves off. I would give one eye for her Already. Ifshe's not mine I'll steal her. The doctor comes back. The friend stirs; both our beards Quicken: the doctor is standing Over me, saying, "This one's yours." It is done: I set my feet In Heavenly power, and get up. In place ofplastic, manned rubber And wrong light, I say wordlessly Roll, real God. Roll through us. I shake hands With the one-eyed man. He has not gained A child, but may get back his eye; I hope it will return By summer starlight. The child almost setting Its wool on fire, I hold it in the first and last power Daughter / 447 It came from: that goes on all the time There is, shunting the glacier, whirling Whole forests from their tops, moving Lava, the flowing stone: moving the hand Ofanyone, ever. Child offire, Look up. Look up as I lean and mumble you are part Offlowing stone: understand: you are part ofthe wave, Ofthe glacier's irrevocable Millennial inch. "This is the one," the friend r~peats In his end-of-it daze, his beard gone Nearly silver, now, with honor, in the all-night night Ofearly morning. Godfather, I say To him: not father ofGod, but assistant Father to this one. All forests are moving, all waves, All lava and ice. I lean. I touch One finger. Real God, roll. Roll. The Olympian -False Youth: SpringLos Angeles back-yarding in its blue-eyed waters Ofempty swim, by my tract-house of packaged hard-candy I lay in wait with the sun And celebrity beer for the Olympian, Now my oldest boy's junior High school algebra teacher, who had brought back the black-magic gold Ofthe East, down the fast lane, Freewaying, superhuman with rubberized home-stretch, The four hundred meters from Tokyo To Balboa Boulevard, leaving in his wake All over the earth, the Others, the...


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