Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"The Long Haul," Hans Ostrom

Black truck hauling a white load.
Black train freighting a line of white boxcars.
Black barge moving heaps of beige garbage.
Black man holding up the weight of a white man killing him.

Getting on with it.
Carrying the carrying.
The white loads stay heavy, press down.
Inert weight, the freight is thought-free,
obtuse as iron and bereft of irony.

Where the black highway runs into blue water,
the black truck will dump its load at last
and roll lightly up the coast.

When the black train reaches the dusty depot,
it will wail like a monstrous saxophone,
then cut loose all those white cars, goodbye.

And after the black barge negotiates treachery
and sidles up to a wharf,
it will wait for a crane to take away
the accumulation
and then it will rise in the water.

Black notes behind bars
carry beat and tune
across white pages.

And the black notes, lifting from white charts,
shall swarm in air and, hitting white stones
hard and sweetly with the sound,
will turn them into beach sand.

White surrenders, exhausted from being White.
The White Queen and King had grown weary
of a polluted game. A humility blossoms
like an apple orchard. Milk is poured out
on black loamy soil. Comes the sound of weeping.

hans ostrom 2014

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