That morning under a pale hood of sky
I heard the unambiguous scrape of spackling
against the side of our wickered, penitential house.
The day mirled and clabbered
in the thick, stony light,
and the rooks’ feathered narling
astounded the salt waves, the plush coast.
I lugged a bucket past the forked
coercion of a tree, up toward
the pious and nictitating preeminence of a school,
hunkered there in its gully of learning.
Only later, by the galvanized washstand,
while gaunt, phosphorescent heifers
swam beyond the windows,
did the whorled and sparky gib of the indefinite
wobble me into knowledge.
Then, I heard the ghost-clink of milk bottle
on the rough threshold
and understood the meadow-bells
that trembled over a nimbus of ragwort—
the whole afternoon lambent, corrugated, puddle-mad.