Time to Kill

a man and his dog

what fun
chasing twigs
into the water!

young girls bicycle by
in pairs and plaid shorts

a wind so soft
one’s whole
back tingles
with cilia

a gentle lake

the sun boils
at the center,
radiates the zone
for man
            and lays
a healing pad
across his nape

an airplane small and flat
as a paper model
roars behind
the Virgilian scene

an old man
tips his straw hat
down to shade
                     his eyes,
pulls up his fishline
and moves on
to a new spot

the poor small
wood louse
crawls along
the bark ridge
for his life


Carl Rakosi, “Time to Kill” from The Collected Poems of Carl Rakosi (Orono: The National Poetry Foundation, 1986). Used with the permission of Marilyn J. Kane.
Source: The Collected Poems of Carl Rakosi (National Poetry Foundation, 1986)
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