I have dragged it through the deserted harvests,
Brown for centuries, the wood of the windmills
Crumbling in my hands, across the frozen river,
Still scuffed with shoes, the last frost fair empty,
Brown tents sagging on the ice, ice-fishing holes
Scabbed over, rowboats crusted in the icy sedges.
I have dragged it through all the winter paintings,
Past the sinking wagons, the abandoned ships,
And have come to the wall, and I have grown old.
Teacher said this is how endings should be—
A violent toss over the wall. What is over
There? I asked her, once, at the beginning,
As she shelled peas and the red poppies nodded
Beside her full skirts.