They made a word for light when it went out,
Then many words for dark, if not such dark
As fell and spread among them like a doubt.
It’s not a date we celebrate, but then
There’s no one day to ring or week to mark.
It happened and keeps happening to them.
Nothing to make a song or dance about.
Nothing to be the theme of a third act.
They had no argument and show no sign
Of coming back to make one. They were them,
And death is in that word like its own wine
Gone acid and eroding them to then.
Then to the fled allotment of a time.
Then to the listed ruin of a fact.
Glyn Maxwell, “And Indians” from The Boys at Twilight: Poems 1990-1995. Copyright © 2000 by Glyn Maxwell. Reprinted by permission of Glyn Maxwell.
Source: The Boys at Twilight: Poems 1990-1995
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000)