[Written in 1931 while living on a farm in rural New York, isolated and often ill and despondent. ⎯Hayden Carruth]
This beast that rends me in the sight of all,
This love, this longing, this oblivious thing,
That has me under as the last leaves fall,
Will glut, will sicken, will be gone by spring.
The wound will heal, the fever will abate,
The knotted hurt will slacken in the breast;
I shall forget before the flickers mate
Your look that is today my east and west.
Unscathed, however, from a claw so deep
Though I should love again I shall not go:
Along my body, waking while I sleep,
Sharp to the kiss, cold to hand as snow,
The scar of this encounter like a sword
Will lie between me and my troubled lord.