Down Hill

On the hillside our mothers stood in a chorus line, toes
Pointed nakedly through sandals. Confused border collies
Taking orders from instinct alone, fulfillment frowned
Upon in one’s merely doing what feels what one knows
(Quite correctly, by the way) is the right thing to do. All
Through one’s life, feeling the tug of generations: fathers,
Sons following steps so many years up that same slippery,
Humming similar melodies with slight variations to fall
Freshly on the next, each man changing lines as druthers
Dictate. So, yet again we come to doing simply on the feel
Because the feel is all we have, the carefully measured calls
Toward a cavern somewhere deep inside where fires stoked
In an evening’s revelry prepare us for the morning’s ordeal
Of leaving deserved passions simmering. A motorcar stalls
Again on the highway. Wet, rhythmic white noise chokes
Up the memory of our sleeping warmth, two legs coming
Together into hips so wide the cradle of life fits as nicely
As tasteful new appointments in an empty room, furnished
For a spread in a glossy magazine, opening to the foaming
Center, stitched with steel, folding out again for a thricely
Paneled ceiling. This is as high as you go, the burnished
Clay bust says, speaking to the few, the hapless, the grave
Implications of his word slide unchecked, unsung, unheard
Amidst the masses who might as well have been watching
Reruns, as they probably were, devotedly, religiously, save
All but the few, again, to whom we’ve alluded as absurd
To the world, their shoes, or their lack thereof, patching
Cables into little holes through which the buried clams
Breathe shallowly, deeply mired of their choosing, calmed
Like our babies as a layer of tide nudges, nudges, nudges
The moon from a horizon, rising as the sea urgently blames
Like an unread book fondled in overcrowded trains, palmed
Tokens scattering against polished ground like old grudges
Taken up into heaven with the best of them, all the prophets
We’d never heard of, calling names of worthy successors
Who only angels know, doves issuing from their mouths
Fine wisps of feathery blankets plucked from breasts coat
Our hill bringing quiet to all, blankets of peace, falling.