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in plain air 185
running late
Last class goes overtime, there's some delay
Getting an ace bandage on an aching knee
At the right tension, and then hurriedly
Into slow, slow traffi
c: the last light of day
Fades off the clouds above my getaway,
Though there at last and running I can see
The sickle moon refl ected, glittery,
Like a surf-perch, in a wave; under the play
Of water sliding in and sliding back,
This sand is a seal's fl ank, the inch-high hiss
Of that foam edging somehow throws a black
Shadow in this faint light; my emphasis
Was haste-blurred on those lines of Herbert's. How
I'd like to have the class back (briefl y!) now.
running late, having held the class on
herbert overtime to look at three lines
Deep dusk, the quarter moon strong enough now
To show in the wave's fl ank with a fi sh-like glitter,
I run on the dark beach thinking, This is better
Than the delicate orange clouds two days ago
In pale green sky, too pretty. (Are there no
Other runners here, for once?) Thinking, That wetter
Sand there shines like some membrane, this twitter
Of sleepy sanderlings says it must be so
That I'm the last one out, that subdued roar
Of water's a not-word I have heard before,
And suddenly there comes the one thing more
I ought to have told the class, that not elsewhere
In English is that thought thought -- and see how clear
And passionate and quiet it is there.