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Quiet Destroyer

Quieter than a hurricane,
quieter than economic depressions,
quieter even than quiet pain,
yielding no gun, blasting no bombs,
having no outline, no face, no target,
no sizzling newspaper topic,
it crawls, though no worm appears,
it envelops the years, a series
of habits, tendencies, memories,
it crawls for years, so long
as to seem a long-familiar friend
or cozy room one never quite leaves.
All those who hurt us in the past
have long become shadows, they have died
or changed utterly or simply
have been swept away in distant currents,
simply never seen again. Yet
these shadows still glow, sometimes blaze;
the circumstances which once had
brought us low, degraded or stifled us,
though seldom thought of, leave us
circling, circling in habitual ways,
the seasons themselves growing lusterless,
devoid of the leap of love. It’s all called
prudence, caution. This safety encloses
worlds growing narrower, narrower,
as busy millions slowly, quietly die…

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