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,
second-sight —
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.