For weeks he’s tunneled his intricate need Through the root-rich, fibrous, humoral dark, Buckling up in zagged illegibles The cuneiforms and cursives of a blind scribe. Sleeved by soft earth, a slow reach knuckling, Small tributaries open from his nudge— Mild immigrant, bland isolationist, Berm builder edging the runneling world. But now the snow, and he’s gone quietly deep, Nuzzling through a muzzy neighborhood Of dead-end-street, abandoned cul-de-sac, And boltrun from a dead-leaf, roundhouse burrow. May he emerge four months from this as before, Myopic master of the possible, Wise one who understands prudential ground, Revisionist of all things green; So when he surfaces, lumplike, bashful, Quizzical as the flashbulb blind who wait For color to return, he’ll nose our green- rich air with the imperative poise of now.
First published in New Criterion. Copyright © 2006 Wyatt Prunty. Used with permission of the author.