Collected Poems 21

On Waking Before Dawn

In London I had been let in
to St. Paul's
before the others,
took a pew far up a side aisle,
but departed by a tiny portal
before Chaucer's burial service had ended,
then moved out along the full length
of Pittsburgh's Fifth Avenue to my hotel
where I had failed to vacate on time
causing me great apprehension
standing where screens and counter were
While wild anxiety set in
As to how to convince them of my oversight.
Then suddenly I was at home on the hill
Some forty miles north  
Where paintings were being auctioned off.

Halt! All you strangers shoving to crowd in
Despite the drenching rain.
There they stand now
Unaware of water marks
Their shoes are making   
On immaculate hickory flooring
Where once Persian rugs had been.
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