Even a blind man wearing his watch cap like a caul
and walking behind a harnessed dog assumed
a hidden disk hovering behind clouds
must be the space ship sun due for a slow descent.
Even his dog's sensitive nose failed to detect
something spectacular was at hand as they waited
for the traffic light to change from red to green.
Nothing foretold flashing trails or black
plumes would color the sky and headlines,
as clocks' hands clicked and numerals
jumped, when the heavens' blasts struck
ears of nurses in starched uniforms and firefighters
leaving polished engines to be homeward bound.
Only pilots had seen the white wings hurrying
into port and starboard engines, entering
like broken angels above the Hudson's
frantic bows soon to honk louder
than swelling voices of geese.
Passengers shivered on wings
plunged into the Hudson's icy waters.
And from evening's darkness descending,
with his shoulders ablaze with gold
their savior, the magician of air,
appeared to those walking on water.
In the miracle of morning a blind man awoke
to waves of a dog's rib cage, rising and falling,
and for a time the world seemed saved.
Spirits at Low Tide
My spirits are at low tide, and across the plains
I hear a faint voice of wind weary from its long journey
to reach these shores saying
it's the same world it was yesterday.
Last week the elm tree dropped its gold leaves
not knowing the word seasons.
When the light amber of the silk tassel
on the last stalk of corn invites
the moon to take a taste it is never refused.
I sit at my desk where as a teenager
I read Tolstoy and the Magic Mountain.
The left hand of wisdom does not slide away;
the silver shoe horn smiling in the drawer
knows something hidden from the eagle's dropped
feathers, and the ponderous moon
veils itself with clouds I had tried to touch as a boy.
William Page's poetry has appeared widely in such journals
as The Southern Review, The North
American Review, Southwest Review, Nimrod, Wisconsin Review, The Midwest
Quarterly, Kansas Quarterly, The Literary Review, Mississippi Review, Cimarron
Review, The Chariton Review, Southern Poetry Review, South Carolina Review, Tar
River Poetry, Ploughshares, The Pedestal, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and The Innisfree Poetry Journal, and in a
number of anthologies. His third collection of poems, Bodies Not Our Own, received a Walter R. Smith Distinguished Book
Award. His collection William Page
Greatest Hits 1970-2000 was published by Pudding House Publications. He is
Founding Editor of The Pinch and a
retired professor of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Memphis.