What will you do now that you can’t go home again?
Will you climb the lookout? Will you work yourself to death
or lie down on the footbridge over the river and watch the striddlies,
or smell the creosote in the sleepers held together with paling wire?

All the years of the Cold War my father came home through the fields
from the seminary, where he taught Rutherford’s physics and the new maths.
He lay down on this ramshackle bridge, nel mezzo del cammin,
a scholarship boy made good in the young republic, in the nuclear age,

and fell sleep like Tarkovsky’s Stalker or Chagall’s poète endormi,
those arty refugees from the wars, the old dirty wars flaring up
one after the other in Korea and Vietnam. I could lie down
on this old bridge and do nothing forever.