The rocky road climbs the mountain
Past a hut where a black lamb
Shivers in the snow
And a grey falcon broods in a tree.

 

I ride on high, over the piebald,
In my creaking cart.
It has a broken wheel
And shakes my brother’s coffin.

 

A flight of black birds
Drops from the sky
Onto a field of snow
And makes a field of black birds.

 

Two boys slouch beside a sign
Advertising plum brandy.
They spit and pelt me with stones
As I pass by with my brother’s coffin.

 

I ride on high, over the piebald,
In my creaking cart,
Melting—and my brother melting—
In the rotten snow.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 15 Number 5, on page 32
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