Dream Song 72: The Elder Presences

Shh! on a twine hung from disastered trees
Henry is swinging his daughter. They seem drunk.
Over across them look out,
tranquil, the high statues of the wise.
Her feet peep, like a lady's in sleep sunk.
That which this scene's about—

he pushes violent, his calves distend,
his mouth is open with effort, so is hers,
in the Supreme Court garden,
the justices lean, negro, out, the trees bend,
man's try began too long ago, with chirrs
& leapings, begging pardon—

I will deny the gods of the garden say.
Henry's perhaps to break his burnt-cork luck.
I further will deny
good got us up that broad shoreline. Greed may
like a fuse, but with the high shore we is stuck,
whom they overlook. Why,—

by John Berryman

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