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Metals Metals

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Out of the golden West, out of the leaden East, into the iron South, and to the silver North . . . Oh metals metals everywhere, forks and knives, belt buckles and hooks . . . When you are beaten you sing. You do not give anyone a chance . . .

      You come out of the earth and fly with men. You lodge in men. You hurt them terribly. You tear them. You do not care for anyone.

      Oh metals metals, why are you always hanging about? Is it not enough that you hold men’s wrists? Is it not enough that we let you in our mouths?

      Why is it you will not do anything for yourself? Why is it you always wait for men to show you what to be?

      And men love you. Perhaps it is because you soften so often.
      You did, it is true, pour into anything men asked you to. It has always proved you to be somewhat softer than you really are.

      Oh metals metals, why are you always filling my house?
      You are like family, you do not care for anyone.

“Metals Metals” from The Childhood of an Equestrian (Harper & Row, 1973). Reprinted in The Tunnel: Selected Poems (Oberlin College Press, 1994) © Russell Edson
Source: The Childhood of an Equestrian (Harper & Row, 1973)
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Metals Metals

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