Sunday, September 02, 2007

Lines on a Cartoon by Thurber

The cartoon

Every night at nine pm the angel
who lives in the abandoned house on the corner
wakes up and stretches and blows out
the streetlight, just for a moment--
just a blink of darkness.

No-one sees it pass into the street
shrouded in wings the color of uncertainty
carrying the dream-stirring spoon.
The angel makes the rounds of its neighborhood
(every neighborhood has one)

leaving a feather on every pillow
to muddy the waters. Where it passes
sleepers mumble and turn over
and the wakeful pause and clutch at themselves
as though feeling a chill, or a ripple

in the fabric of everyday care.
Goose stepped on my grave.
Have it your way, you heard a seal bark.

We stare mistrustful at the solidity of walls
late at night after the dream-stirring angel passes.

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