by W. D. Snodgrass
For R. M. Powell
He fed them generously who were his flocks,
Picked, shatterbrained, for food. Passed as a goat
Among his sheep, I cast off. Though hurled rocks
And prayers deranged by torment tossed our boat,
I could not silence, somehow, this defiant
Mind. From my fist into the frothed wake ran
The white eye’s gluten of the living giant
I had escaped, by trickery, as no man.
Unseen where all seem stone blind, pure disguise
Has brought me home alone to No Man’s land
To look at nothing I dare recognize.
My dead blind guide, you lead me here to claim
Still waters that will never wash my hand,
To kneel by my old face and know my name.