Tuesday, May 2, 2017



The camp followers were with us still
But oddly changed. The sutlers had horns
And hoofs and limp braided mustaches
Tied with small bright bits of string.
They remained reassuringly surly
And did not allow credit. Our clothes
Were mostly ragged but washerwomen
Competed for our  business; tired feys
With black eyes and tattered wings
That could lift them a few inches
Above the rocks and hardpacked snow.


All that winter Death lay sick.
We had no heart to leave him behind
So he rode in a cart, half-conscious,
Groaning now and then.
When we had to abandon the carts
His attendants – bats and voles
And bears who wore clothes and expected
To pass as men – heaped blankets on him
And carried him in a wicker basket.

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