Bucolics [LIX]

Maurice Manning
when I see the shadow of the hawk
but not the hawk itself do you know
what it feels like Boss a stone a stone
set on my chest it weighs me down
it's stronger than the horse's strain
against the plowlines Boss it's like
the river after rain I can't
hold back the pull the pull that makes
me like its heft I even like
the shadow's tiny yoke O Boss
I feel its curve around my neck
I see a flap of wings so black
it binds me to the furrows Boss
a shadow smarter than the sting
of a switch though it is lighter than
a feather though it is thinner than
a leaf that shadow stone is one
of many wonders Boss for all
the world it makes me think of you
you heavy thing you never move

From Bucolics by Maurice Manning. Copyright © 2007 by Maurice Manning. Reprinted with permission of Harcourt, Inc.

From Bucolics by Maurice Manning. Copyright © 2007 by Maurice Manning. Reprinted with permission of Harcourt, Inc.

Maurice Manning