Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Phillip Levine

April, 1947, the war over,
Steve & Eli home, their long, carved faces
shadowed, their eyes turned in.  All down the block
houses close early. In the dark Sophie
opens the back gate to let the aromas 
of rotting roses flood the untended fields
she scours for wildflowers. In my high room,
startled by the bark of a spade on stone,
I hang between two worlds, heaven & earth,
as the clouds pass over holding their tongues.

© 2002 Philip Levine