BOOKS JULY 30, 2008
I gave you back my claim on the mining townand the rich vein we once worked,the tumble-downfrom a sluice-box that irked
you so much, the narrow-gaugethat opened up to one and allwhen it ran out at the landing-stagebeyond the Falls.
I gave you back oak tiesbully-flitches, the hand-hewn cross-beamsfrom which hung hard tack
in a burlap bag that, I'd surmise,had burst its seamsthe last night we lay by the old spur track.
You gave me back your frownand the most recent responsibility you'd shirkedalong with something of your renownfor having jumped from a cage just before it jerked
to a standstill, your wild rampageshot through with silver falderals,the speed of that falling cageand the staidness of our canyon walls.
You gave me back lake-skies,pulley-glitches, gully-pitches, the reflected gleamsof two tin plates and mugs in the shack,
the echoes of love-sighsand love-screamsour canyon walls had already given back.
By Paul Muldoon