under whatever sun is under

People in rooms drinking tea, drinking wine
in the same rooms and outdoors, taking trains
and driving and planting tomatoes
and harvesting tomatoes, kissing
or watching others kiss while wanting to be kissed,
a spider living by the stove
as tigers and grizzly bears roam Ohio
being killed after their owner
opened their cages and shot himself,
people talking about childhood
while holding babies, hands behind the heads
that can't support their own weight,
eating lunch and other meals at tables,
sitting at other tables smoking or wanting to smoke,
having a beer in a room before a funeral
and a beer in the same room after the funeral,
a spider living in the window as a woman
cuts all her hair off in Nome and mails it
to her mother's chemoed head in Memphis,
people going on too long and people
letting people go on too long,
standing in a doorway meeting the lover
of their son, taking her coat, her scarf, offering tea,
liking her smile, people drinking too much
and people letting people drink too much,
making beds for them, helping them in,
people sitting beside people under trees,
trees under clouds, clouds under sun, sun under
whatever sun is under and beyond reproach.

[Bob Hicok, 'Life', from Elegy Owed]

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