Matthew Kilbane

Here, where the gravel path
swerves from the railway
and takes the hill’s rise easy, loping long
switchback arcs,
             the openhanded wind, summer-stiff
             with pond sour,
             is scrabbling at empty sky
             with the grain-stoned ears of Ludlow’s wheat
and shredding my voice, an old flag,
to ribbons.

                         Over there,
the half-toppled dovecote rides
the far white crest of the Kipton granary
             like a fermata,
             like a query in continental philosophy:
            do human adults
             at some point come to regret
not having been born
who don’t outgrow