Those tears now are changed,
And the eyes that had them now are changed,
As have the mountains of the time.
Flora has altered,
And her sitting room is now furnished otherwise.
The sight of a certain mountain once had by her,
Has been had; and Flora's been seen by Holmes, Tilson, Hughes.
The feet of Flora, now in other nights, are feet, yes, to be alluded to,
In wintry nights referred to; her hat is to be mentioned in societies,
And those at times tearful eyes can be expatiated on by tireless political leaders.
Flora's father made many allusions to weather, sights, persons: and once he said: Tears are a sign of a feeling heart.
His hands have gone to their rest by the sounds of mountains.
Any chance he had of frothing is stilled, as volcanoes are.
The opportunities he had for taking the longing, aspiring Flora on his respectably clothed shoulders (when she was 18) and carrying her to a brookside are gone, and Flora won't be carried to any brookside.
Though brooks remain, as the Greeks knew.
And Romans might have written on the instability of creeks.
However, since Flora Willison is mentionable, by all depraved powers, let us mention her, let us do this, mention her.
Yes, she went, somewhat attired in red in gusty, snowy Novembers.
She had her hands often in deep snow, and her hands were reddened by her doing this.
Scores of times her ears tingled in America.
Well, how many bells she heard, this Flora girl.
She has curtsied to schoolmasters; she has greeted clerical people politely.
She has remarked that the wind was driving, speedily, the snow in a northeast manner.
She has reconciled two quarrelling Vermont boys.
And she shivered once a little at some noise near the kitchen.
Her heart is now in a mountain.
Her fingers are in the air.
Her eyelids are in many graves.
Her eyes have wandered with many gales.
Clouds, clouds, clouds, going fast have her nostrils.
And being has her nose.
Existence has taken her eyes,
She has been robbed by the Lord.
Her bones rest in fate,
Her marrow is in heaven.
Her eyes are in a Vermont mountain.
Her eyes are in an Eastern ocean.
Gales have her hands,
And clouds, skies, moons, have her hair.
She is wandering in a million directions in the cold.
She is a million miles, a million miles away from Vermont,
And her hair is in the West.
Her eyes are in the heavens,
Planets have stolen her skin.
Her hands are in the east
And the unfathomable creek of the million mile off Tentententen has her heart.
Her toes are in Vermont.
The Lord has stolen her whims.
From Hot Afternoons Have Been in Montana: Poems (Definition Press)
© 1957 by Eli Siegel