Song

By W. D. Snodgrass 1926–2009
Sweet beast, I have gone prowling,
    a proud rejected man
who lived along the edges
    catch as catch can;
in darkness and in hedges
    I sang my sour tone
and all my love was howling
    conspicuously alone.

I curled and slept all day
    or nursed my bloodless wounds
until the squares were silent
    where I could make my tunes
singular and violent.
    Then, sure as hearers came
I crept and flinched away.
    And, girl, you've done the same.

A stray from my own type,
    led along by blindness,
my love was near to spoiled
    and curdled all my kindness.
I find no kin, no child;
    only the weasel's ilk.
Sweet beast, cat of my own stripe,
    come and take my milk.

W.D. Snodgrass, "Song [Sweet Beast, I have gone Prowling]" from Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2006 by W.D. Snodgrass.  Reprinted by permission of Kathleen Snodgrass.

Source: Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems (BOA Editions Ltd., 2006)

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