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Phantom

by Len Krisak (February 2013)

Out walking at that time of morning when

The dawn has barely slipped away from night,

I spot a ghost go gliding through the light,

But upright, stiff, upstanding. No good guess

Available, I stumble on . . . not zen,

Of course (the mind is desperate—still logy).

Bunraku maybe? Or some spectre, white,

Erect, and surely off the mist-veiled ground

That turns the weightless feet of figures foggy.

Still, this is stately—of a human height.

He seems ascendant in my line of sight,

Floating from side-street shadows, there—stage right—

And up the hill ahead, without a sound,

As glib as anything I’ve ever seen.

How could a climb so fast and effortless

Be anything but . . . now I see it. Yes!

No genie breasting a hill would have to lean

Just slightly forward; human compensation

Reveals that what till now has strangely thwarted

My earth-bound vision is no visitation

By angels, or some wraith-like apparition,

But one lone Segway. Now, in this transition,

The rider climbs, but I’m the one transported.


Len Krisak has published in The London Magazine, The Oxonian Review, PN Review, Standpoint, Agni, The Antioch Review, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, Agenda, The Hopkins Review, Commonweal, Literary Imagination, The Oxford Book of Poems on Classical Mythology, and others. His latest book is Virgil’s Eclogues, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010

 

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