Wallace Stevens Walking to Work
 
Walking to work, head bowed,
heedless of the passing cars
and the schoolkids on bikes,
you are somewhere far
from Hartford, Connecticut,
and its ordinary folk.
You stroll the sunny Yucatan
or moonlit Madagascar . . .
Perhaps you walk the nothingness
beyond the hinges of the stars,
escorted by the cherubim
you don't really believe in:
So who can say
where you really are?
Not the kids on bikes
or the faces in the passing cars.
Perhaps not even you . . .
Still, you walk to work,
with your head bent
to some noiseless fugue
like a snake-charmer
before a brilliant serpent--
enchanted by its emerald eyes,
waiting to be stung
by the long black flickering tongue.
 

 

 

copyright 2001 Phoebe Claire Publishing, LLC  All rights reserved