August 15, 1986/ 8PM

We are beating out familiar shapes, you and me.
It is not new ground, you know,
Even for ourselves,
And the going quite slow.

And there are hammers,
Many hammers
Wielded by deliberate arms dripping sweat.
Our champions do battle—
Lines we did not write
Leading to confusions we did not intend,
And the clatter-shock of steel on steel,
Sparks in the barn-dark of our minds.

If we could understand—
But everything is “ifs”
After all
And “ifs” are funny things.

You have your hammer when you’re angry.
So do I.
We each recognize our own……
But that one only.
The rest are swung, unnoticed, unremarked
In the dark
Off the mark.

And so how does it happen,
That rapid beating of steel,
The noise and concentration
Just to build a simple shape
So easy to conceive?
I do not know
But there is one very simple thing:
Somewhere, anvils ring.