My Wreck

by Lawrence Dugan

Somewhere Hopkins refers to his great long

Ode as my wreck, as possessive as a salvager
Tossing sand dunes for rubble the day after.

And somewhere a critic says Hopkins thought
Volpone a great play. I can’t locate either
At the moment, but they are out there

Barely visible on the horizon as you
Fall asleep into the terrible weather
Of a dream, a collision in an hour-glass

And awake from a threadbare epic.
How much clearer at dawn is the memory
Of a motionless figure covered by snow

A statue at night oblivious to the storm,
The old bronze general riding south,
Whose four-o’clock-in-the-morning courage

Astonished those around him, as alone
Now as the statue of St. Joan a mile away
Rising out of the wreckage of the past.

— This poem appears in the July 7, 2014, issue of National Review.


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