The Grave the Well

The Grave the Well

Taking off from Kennedy
in December, from the
airplane, I look at streetlights
below: hovering, unfixed
sockets of light.

Then darkness: Pennsylvania,
Ohio. Yellow headlights
steer slowly along macadam
outstate roads,
far from pianos and theaters.

Women are leaning back in taxis.
Men stoop into taxis
after them, and enter the
grave, the well, the mine
of fur and scent.

— Donald Hall

"The Grave the Well" is from Old and New Poems by Donald Hall. Copyright © 1990 Donald Hall. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)

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