By the Road to the Air-Base

By Yvor Winters

The calloused grass lies hard
Against the cracking plain:
Life is a grayish stain:
The salt-marsh hems my yard.

Dry dikes rise hill on hill;
In sloughs of tidal slime
Shell-fish deposit lime,
Wild sea-fowl creep at will.

The highway, like a beach,
Turns whiter, shadowy dry:
Loud, pale against the sky,
The bombing planes hold speech.

Yet fruit grows on the trees;
Here scholars pause to speak;
Through gardens bare and Greek,
I hear my neighbor's bees.


"By the Road to the Air-Base," by Yvor Winters, The Selected Poems of Yvor Winters © 1999. This material is used by permission of Ohio University Press,