I finally found a way of using the tree.
If the man is lying down with the sheep
while the dog stands, then the wooden tree
can also stand, in the back, next to the dog.
They show their widest parts
(the dog sideways, the tree frontal)
so that being next to each other
they function as a landscape.
I tried for nearly two months to use the tree.
I tried by putting the man,
standing of course, very far from the sheep
but in more or less the same plane.
At one point I had him almost off the table
and still couldn’t get the tree to work
It was only just now I thought of a way.
I dropped the wooden sheep from a few inches
above the table so they wouldn’t bounce.
Some are on their backs but they serve
the same as the ones standing.
What I can’t get over is their coming right
inadvertently when I’d be content with any solution.
Ah, world, I love you with all my heart.
Outside the open window, down near the Hudson,
I can hear a policeman talking to another
through the car radio. It’s eleven stories down
so it must be pretty loud.
The sheep, the tree, the dog, and the man
are perfectly at peace. And my peace is at peace.
Time and the earth lie down wonderfully together.
The blacks probably do rape the whites in jail
as Bill said in the coffee shop watching the game
between Oakland and Cincinnati. And no doubt
Karl was right that we should have volunteered
as victims under the bombing of Hanoi.
A guy said to Mishkin, “If you’ve seen all that,
how can you go on saying you’re happy?”
Linda Gregg, from “Too Bright to See”