There are Days

John Montague


for Lawrence Sullivan

There are days when
one should be able
to pluck off one's head
like a dented or worn
helmet, straight from
the nape and collarbone
(those crackling branches!)
and place it firmly down
in the bed of a flowing stream.
Clear, clean, chill currents
coursing and spuming through
the sour and stale compartments
of the brain, dimmed eardrums,
bleared eyesockets, filmed tongue.
And then set it back again
on the base of the shoulders:
well tamped down, of course,
the laved skin and mouth,
the marble of the eyes
rinsed and ready
for love; for prophecy?
From There are Days by John Montague. Copyright © 2001 by John Montague. Reprinted with the permission of Wake Forest University Press. All rights reserved.

Poems by This Author

Silences by John Montague
Poetry is a weapon, and should be used,
White Water by John Montague
The light, tarred skin