Evening News II

by David Ferry

The face looking into the room;
Behind it light, shaking, like heat
Lightning; the face calm and knowing;
Seeing, but not seeing who I am;
The mouth may be telling something.

Something about our helplessness;
Something about the confusions of beasts;
The consequence of error; systems
Haywire, or working; the stars gone
All wrong in the body’s courses.

Out on the plain of Mars, brilliantly
Played under the lights, searched out
Beyond any answer, the game went on
Far into the night; the bloodiest came
Home from the battle seeking the prize.

The women were disgraced; hair streaming,
Pleading into the staring: buy, buy—;
Was it my daughter I was seeing?—
The humiliation was pleasing: tears,
Laughter, smiles, all mingled together.

The light swallowed itself, a balloon
Deflating; somewhere in the darkness
A murmuring let itself go.

Last updated October 30, 2022