A New Selected Poems by Galway Kinnell

By Galway Kinnell

That Silent Evening

I will return to that silent night after we lay jointly and talked in silent voices, whereas open air gradual lumps of sentimental snow fell, hushing as they received close to the floor, with a hearth within the room, during which centuries of tree went up in non-stop ghost-giving-up, with no crackle, into morning light.
Not till what quickens went slower did we sleep.
When we received domestic we became and appeared again at our tracks twining out of the woods, the place the branches we brushed opposed to allow fall puffs of glowing snow, fast, in silence, like stolen kisses, and the place the scritch scritch scritch one of the bushes, that's the sound that dies contained in the sparks from the wedge while the sledge hits it off heart telling every little thing within it truly is hearth, jumped to a black department, hyped up yet with no hands and as a way to our eyes lonesome, and but also--how do we be aware of this?--happy!
in form of chickadee. mendacity nonetheless in snow, now not iron-willed, like railroad tracks, keen to not meet till heaven, yet the following and there treading slubby kissing stops, our tracks wobble around the snow their lengthy scratch.
So many stuff that ensue listed below are particularly little extra, if even that, than a scratch, too. phrases, in our mouths, are virtually prepared, already, to bandage the only whom the scritch scritch scritch, that means if how once we may lose one another, scratches scratches scratches from this second to that. Then i'm going to return to that silent night, whilst the prior simply controlled to overlap the long run, if basically through a hint, and the sunshine doubles and casts during the darkish a glowing that heavens the earth.

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Gangrenous molds took to the foundations before the roofs were fairly nailed down. Mud crept up their sides and paint fell away in long white slashes. Some terrible plague seemed to overtake them one by one. They were rented to families of gaunt hollow-eyed and darkskinned people, not Mellungeons and not exactly anything else, who reproduced with such frightening prolificness that their entire lives appeared devoted to the production of the ragged line of scions which shoeless and tattered sat for hours at a time on the porch edges, themselves not unlike the victims of some terrible disaster, and stared out across the blighted land with expressions of neither hope nor wonder nor despair.

The drinkers would pause, liquid tilting in their glasses, the structure would shudder violently, a broom would fall, a bottle, and the inn would slowly right itself and assume once more its normal reeling equipoise. The drinkers would raise their glasses, talk would begin again. Remarks alluding to the eccentricities of the inn were made only outside the building. To them the inn was animate as any old ship to her crew and it bred an atmosphere such as few could boast, a solidarity due largely to its very precariousness.

You’ns get in here. We goin to Knoxville, proud to hep ye out. Sylder presented them each with a welcoming smile as they climbed in and studied each in turn his face under the domelight. He dropped into the Hopper—the steep twin fork road—without braking. The little one between him and Tipton squealed once and then hushed with her hand clapped over her mouth as they swerved across the pike and shot out into blackness, the lights slapping across the upper reaches of trees standing sharply up the side of the hollow.

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