This is now sad brown earth which once had pink waving on it and long pink waving by merry water.
In this earth are the prints of hundreds of persons, hand in hand, walking—seeing the eyes of one dearer than any eyes and the hand of one more joyous than any hand; here on this sad earth have these persons' greatest feeling gone along.
Feeling is possessed by sad, brown earth going on now to one of its many winters when white will be where pink and yellow were.
Hand in hand, walking, have persons gone across yellow and pink and green; shoulders meeting, the dearest shoulders there were.
To merry water have shoulders gone, around and over pink and red, yellow, and over the sad brown of once.
This point has had the triumphant Margaret; the very pleased Constantia; the not for the while moody Alice; it has had the raging Arthur and the gay Edward; the victorious William; somewhere in this sad earth is the print of Arthur's white foot and Elvira's slippered one.
Flowers and grass were noticed by Fred and Anita going over green to merry, moving water.
Sad earth, having yellow and red falling to you where once, in August and in May, stepped the beaming Ethel and the rapt Ermengarde.
Sad earth, possessing 400 Margarets, 400 Jims.
From Hail, American Development (Definition Press)
© 1968 by Eli Siegel