Peter Huchel

The autumnal flourish of poplars.
And villages walled in
By howling dogs,
At the gate
The bolt wedged fast,
The gold hidden
In the rusty iron pot.

Late the last farmstead.
Shot to bits, the chain ferry
Drifted downstream.

Here I saw the child
Embedded in the hour’s colder corner,
Thrust out from the caves of the blood
Into the light
Of shattered windows.
The child was near to day.

Outside the waterhole
A lump of ice.
And me with bayonets ripped
Tatters of meat
From snow-encrusted cattle,
Slinging the offal
Against the gray cemented
Wall of the churchyard.

Night came
In the crow-driving mist.
Suddenly to the farmstead
On crutches of bare poplars
Came the night

The child saw neither
The earth hollowed with graves
Nor the moon which threw
A sheaf of winter straw
On ice and stones.
The child was near to day.

Peter Huchel

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