Lynn Strongin


Who Will Check the State of the Coffins?


The night watchman comes away        observing trees
like black construction paper.

image sticks to the back of the mirror.

Elms of the cemetery are from the past century:        rain-wet        stenciled on
trees which won’t be apparent till dawn:
a glass one cannot walk thru

without splintering it:
Packing more heart in three hours        than anybody can
certain to touch the soul.

In another incarnation            he was a typesetter:
Irregularities of metal typesetting
& letterpress printing, however,
got to him:
           the sharp contrast between thick & thin strokes.
           To retain openness of heart,
           he became night watchman:
           the X-height
           laid under one great black velvet blanket        lawn.

           Some nights, as he checks the tombs,
           a pioneer type foundry
           under the cold hard stars rolls on.