Robert Lowell

After the Democratic Convention

Life, hope, they conquer death, generally, always;
and if the steamroller goes over the flower, the flower dies.
Some are more solid earth; they stood in lines,
blouse and helmet, a creamy de luxe sky-blue —
their music savage and ephemeral.
After five nights of Chicago: police and mob,
I am so tired and had, clichés are wisdom,
the clichés of paranoia…Home in Maine,
the fall of the high tide waves is a straggling, joshing
mell of police…they’re on the march for me…
How slender and graceful, the double line of trees,
slender, graceful, irregular and underweight,
the young in black folk-fire circles below the trees —
under their shadow, the green grass turns to hay.