The sun didn’t set, but like a fallen rider the light unhorsed itself, dove shaggy into the rucked-up mud and we all walked down the road in one direction, some in their last leather, some in silk rotted grey and brown and bent and when we measured our steps past a town, even in wind the bells swayed toneless and tongueless, clappers unscrewed and melted down, wrapped around powder, shipped out in boxes, the bells bound open as dresses wind-filled then frozen. What is courage? Had we had it? What can it mean now as the light is pitched headlong under our legs, we who sewed up our mouths and do not know how to die? [End Page 18]
Miller Oberman is a former Ruth Lilly Fellow and a 2016 winner of the 92nd Street Y’s Boston Review / Discovery Prize. His translation of selections from the “Old English Rune Poem” won Poetry’s John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize for Translation in 2013. Miller has recent and forthcoming poems and translations in Harvard Review, Tin House, Poetry, and The Nation; and “The Unstill Ones,” his collection of poems and Old English translations, is forthcoming in 2017. He lives in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.