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Poems

Selected Poems (1955)

Prisoners

Within the wires of the post, unloading the cans of garbage,
The three in soiled blue denim (the white P on their backs
Sending its chilly North six yards to the turning blackened
Sights of the cradled rifle, to the eyes of the yawning guard)
Go on all day being punished, go on all month, all year
Loading, unloading; give their childÕs, beastÕs sigh Ð of despair,
Of endurance and of existence; look unexpectingly
At the big guard, dark in his khaki, at the dust of the blazing plain,
At the running or crawling soldiers in their soiled and shapeless green.

The prisoners, the guards, the soldiers - they are all, in their way, being trained.
From these moments, repeated forever, our own new world will be made.

The Carriers. Selected Poems (1955)