By DAVID LEHMAN
In the bronze distance the last shepherds wander.
The last just man is an angry sinner
Who leaves without a word after a deafening dinner.
The flag of his desire is waving his banner.
The moon waxes and wanes and the banner waves.
The sea approaches with waves of reinforcements
And the palms spring back after the hurricane leaves.
The soldiers sleep unsuspecting in their tents.
The longitudinal waves approach from the east.
You failed the class. The teacher was unfair.
The hand writes on the wall of Belshazzar’s feast.
The parents wave to the son with the wave in his hair.
The troubadour sleeps beneath the moon. The maiden grieves.
“I will love you until the edge of doom,” he said.
Despite his lies, she believes.
Oh, how they’ll dance on the night they are wed.
David Lehman, editor of The Best American Poetry series, has recently published a new collection of poems, Yeshiva Boys.