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.

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