Bangtails Behind the Dray
We fell away from drink in the last days of Summer,
something about money, or boredom,
and yet this drink removed had been our Summer drink;
I saw one of my compatriots bee-stung and soured, then nothing.
That was the Summer, really. Then, the Autumn billows came,
curb-bags rich with the season's decrease; I heard many
slander this turn, in mind for more eighth-month sport.
So old came the usual that from trees were found,
raked up, translated, and prude,
nothing by us but things of dry perish.
I knew leaves and my folk were arrogant,
and I knew all was still honest
Youth in Autumn was unsorted and covetous and so waiting
that every older soul seemed to pull a cart
with shattered, wooden wheels.
The town was speck small;
it thanked us to do nothing
and its anger was aroused most by variety,
but the seasons would not stop passing;
the Sun came and went and the blue was for the unsorted.
We were still fast but the races had stopped inviting us.
We were soon bangtails harnessed to the dray, you know,
sober, racers pulling carts with bad wheels.
Maturity would grow us in angles, odds, and cracked wood
to the end.