Elegy #6
by H. Palmer Hall H. Palmer Hall

H. Palmer Hall's most recent books are Into the Thicket (Ink Brush, 2011) and Foreign and Domestic (Turning Point, 2009). His work has appeared in various magazines, from Texas Observer and North American Review to Ascent and Connecticut Review and points in between. He's a librarian at St. Mary's University where he edits Pecan Grove Press.

Surrounded by books—books on his war—poetry books
Print crammed into every nook, he sat and waited for
Whatever might come, might stay away, need clearing away.

The storms this time brought rain, hard and fast, dust
Beaten down before it could rise. Tom Joad drove the truck west
Into the dwindling daylight, working at rough labor, picking.

. . .  My father did the same, after his war, arc welding, seaming
Boilers, living from payday to payday. It's an old story all
Drifting from somewhere to somewhere, to some ending

We cannot foresee. I saw a lizard yesterday, in the persimmon
Tree outside my window, lusting for a female when SNAP!
The object of his intention met death in the beak of a brilliant bird

Books are safer. You step outside and stuff happens; open a book
And you are, mostly, safe from whatever lurks without. Mostly.

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