From that day forth his life was aftermath.
The streets were grubby, his fever hot,
the water in his glass was aftermath,
and he laid his blame evenly like snow.
He mourned a happy job on King Street
as he might have mourned the fall of Rome.
He felt old friendships like noiseless deer
receding into various alpine landscapes.
One he called brother fell silent and then
went into the snows and never returned.
Forests of crimson and gold were levelled to ash
beyond the bordery of his heart’s forbearance.
He weighed Cain’s rock against Delilah’s shears.
He saw the shallow grave and the temple in ruins.
There was a great swell of voices followed by silence.
Even as he fled from it, he sensed that unseen hands
were preparing his cot in the mission house.