Children of Wolves

The girls came down in white gloves and floral dresses
Doubts half hid or hope that every look confesses
Pressed and light and clean
And with a paleness none has seen

The miles from Devon back to school are long enough
The Pines have farms, and Camden boys are pretty rough
Boats in quite coves
And late White Mountain snows

But out in the badlands, shadows are lengthening
Coyotes wail, and a snake leaves a trail in sand
She takes his hand
As she steps to the floor and tries to ignore
The hammering of her heart

A Monday off: the park is full of flying Frisbees
Street vendors, tourists chasing history
The packed cafes
Couples slow at shop displays

And work has stopped on the subway renovation
Piles of rubble, pits exposing cracked foundations
Siding flares
On the temporary stairs

Pits like the scars of a bombed-out roadway
Warped siding like the walls of a squatter’s shack
Walk down the track
And you’ll see, where it turns, how the midday sun burns
On the new station's curved glass walls

Though cities topple, though the sky fill with flames
Still, you’ll be in my arms tonight
Of all or striving, nothing at last remains
So, in the cold and dark, we might as well
Attempt to steal a little warmth and light
We might …

The girls came down in white gloves and floral dresses
All our pity, rage, and all of our distresses
Sometimes lock in phase
And then there dawn strange days

But for the rest, our humors take a random walk
Spats at home and grousing as we punch the clock
We build model trains
And launch clean-air campaigns

It’s the same balustrade, but the varnish is wearing through
Same rug and sideboard, the curtains sill half drawn …
But the girls are gone
Child of wolves, honed and scarred
I step out into the yard
Under skies of the clearest blue.