Night With Archaic Figure
by Jeffrey Woodward


Roll the stone back, while Earth's lineaments blur
in dusk's pavilion, and tan with flashlight
the sunken, moist, nondescript lot. There mite,
woodlouse and earwig clans shyly scatter.
Mark, after rote exodus and number,
this eccentric sloth, this plump anchorite:
dun-colored, viscid, too engrossed for flight,
scrivener of faint cursive, should it stir.

What code does the slug hour-by-hour fulfill
most minutely, with its four-pronged mock-horn
thrust, for thorough reconnaissance, forward?
Query smooth stone, with its unruffled will,
or this glistering slug, discretely worn,
that shrinks from mere touch--primeval, anchored.


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