Carl Sandburg





From an Illinois Prairie Hut

For Amy Lowell 

She regrets a lost town in Vermont,
lost streets of her childhood town in Vermont;
grassroots tugging at the streets and taking Main Street
of her childhood town, the old home town, in Vermont,
          these she regrets
          and each regret is a grassroot
          and a grassroot must be strong and bitter.

She regrets a horse chestnut,
a tree with a torso ten people join hands and circle round,
a buckeye dying, a tough and beautiful horse chestnut dying,
she regrets this storm of white blossoms will not paint the summer
        sky when the buckeye is gone —
          and each regret
          is a high thin goose of autumn
          crying south, crying south.

She fixes the millimeters of her glasses herself;
She measures the curve of her eyesight wishing to measure
The curve of the arch of the sky of night, the curve of the
        running hours on the level of night,
And the moon stumbles of early morning and the testimony of
        the dawn across the first light sheets.
She measures the millimeters of her eyesight with regrets
          and each regret is a grassroot
and each regret is a high thin goose of autumn crying
south.