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.


return to 1.2