More Poetry: At the Bomb Testing Site

Every Sunday I try to find a poem I’d like to share, and every Sunday I marvel at how much great work there is out there. I hope to give you a mix of the old, the less old, the nearly new, and the brand new. Here’s one from William Stafford that I particularly like. ” . . . the flute end of consequences.” Indeed.

At the Bomb Testing Site

By William E. Stafford

At noon in the desert a panting lizard   

waited for history, its elbows tense,   

watching the curve of a particular road   

as if something might happen.

It was looking at something farther off   

than people could see, an important scene   

acted in stone for little selves

at the flute end of consequences.

There was just a continent without much on it   

under a sky that never cared less.   

Ready for a change, the elbows waited.   

The hands gripped hard on the desert.

From Poetry.com
William Stafford, “At the Bomb Testing Site” from Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems. Copyright © 1960 by William Stafford. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota, http://www.graywolfpress.org.

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