by Joseph Baldwin
A raw wind bent trees, blew through people and houses,
making them skeletons-of-the-moment; flesh reviving
after an interval,
but flesh discouraged, unsure of itself;
siding, stones, bricks intact, opaque once more, but
now open to question.
That wind, while it endured, was like a stark insight,
exposing — not to the eye but to intuition,
the structure of things, their intricate interlacings
of girders, timbers, and bones,
beautiful in design, beautiful even in accidental
or whimsical patterns of jointure and bracing;
but, alas, revealing which supports and linkages
were doubtful, which joints arthritic.
Subsidence, crumbling, and decay: their coming,
always expected in due course,
was indicated, in certain areas, as imminent.
Wind, itself transitory by nature, makes sojourners
of us, as well;
but also brings, mingled with that chill of dread,
a slender thought of soaring, an almost-hope
of ranging free of attachment, cured of the
temerity of substance,
sobriety of weight.