Tom Daley Great South Pond, August 1914
Gnat snap and mosquito squeal: here citronella
bridles them both at bay—
as dusk drags all the small shadows from the woods,
two boys in the thinned-out day
whirl their feet in dust of the pondside road.
They thud, they loop, they scramble.
They grunt as they sprint on their raucous steeplechase.
Daylight gutters as it shambles.
They grow radiant as ghosts in the sharpening dark.
The two of them wearing white
shine their way through trees blanched by the shedding skin
of snakemouth evening light.
The pond still flares with the last
merciful unction of sun.
This nether world hovers here so long they hardly believe
night will ever come.