IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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FORCED MARCH

Miklós Radnóti

Crazy. He stumbles, flops, gets up, and trudges on again. He moves his ankles and his knees like one wandering pain, then sallies forth, as if a wing lifted him where he went, and when the ditch invites him in, he dare not give consent, and if you were to ask why not? perhaps his answer is a woman waits, a death more wise, more beautiful than this. Poor fool, the true believer: for weeks, above the rooves, but for the scorching whirlwind, nothing lives or moves: the housewall’s lying on its back, the prunetree’s smashed and bare even at home, when dark comes on, the night is furred with fear. Ah, if I could believe it: that not only do I bear what’s worth the keeping in my heart, but home is really there; if it might be!--as once it was, on a veranda old and cool, where the sweet bee of peace would buzz, prune marmalade would chill, late summer’s stillness sunbathe in gardens half-asleep, fruit sway among the branches, stark naked in the deep, Fanni waiting at the fence blonde by its rusty red, and shadows would write slowly out all the slow morning said— but still it might yet happen! The moon’s so round today! Friend, don’t walk on. Give me a shout and I’ll be on my way. SEPTEMBER 1944

 
 
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