Maxwell Bodenheim

1892 - 1954 / Mississippi / United States


The wind was shrill and mercenary,
Like a housewife pacing down the sky.
Green weeds and tin-cans in the yard
Made a debris of ludicrous dissipations.
The ochre of cold elations
Had settled on the cans.
Their brilliant labels peeped from the weeds,
Like the remains of a charlatan.
A bone reclined against a fence-post
And mouldily congratulated life.
A woman's garter wasted its faded frills
Upon a newspaper argument.
The shipwrecked rancor of bottles and boxes
Was pressed to disfigured complexities.
A smell of torrential asperity
Knew the spirit of the yard.

Contented or incensed,
The wreckage stood in the yard,
One shade below the sardonic.
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