The Leopardi Pile-up
You drive. I'm in
the back with baby,
The road from Cornwall home a long unravelling
Of marriage. With our misery complete,
Bakes like our tempers in a car that's travelling
Back to a kiss and
Of course I have a
book: the great
Canti of Giacomo Leopardi, bereft
Shepherd in darkness singing at the moon.
The Blind Disposer took him. We have left
You hit the brakes.
The seat belts strain,
Taking our mass. Ahead, a sluggish queue
Of cars, the drivers blankly staring out
Of flesh by metal and the much ado
Of bloodshed in the
A certain one, betrayed by Chance
And Physics, who put his foot down in his haste
To be here at this moment of release,
Within the turmoil of this thorough waste.
They wheel him to
watching for the full
Impact of grief. Its vigil makes a life
Intractable as laws of motion, yet
In passion for a book, a child, a wife
Whose smile is
I would not look. I
would not face
The spillage and the wreck. I said the party
For us goes on, as though love had forgot
A poem, not even one by Leopardi
ascends to grace.
If you've any comments on his poems, K.M.Payne would be pleased to hear from you.