I am fifty this year,
after Christmas, the late buds
assemble their small hooves
in the wind of the dead season
and the Mennonites with their black horses do not walk
out into the uncovered fields,
or step over their roots tarred in muddy flesh.
We cannot love whom we must,
yet cannot imagine another;
the earth is wrong for this place.
– After Robert Lowell’s, ‘The Great Testament,’ after Villon’s ‘Le Testament.”