Two Bums Walk Out of Eden
Two bums walk out of Eden. Evening
The suave, the decorous trees, the careful
The strict green benches—and the two bums go.
They caught the official nod, the
Thumb, and now they rise and leave a little
Briskly as men heedful to waste no time—
As men bending their steps toward due
The tall one looms like a skeleton; the runt
Walks with the totter of a tumbleweed.
Down the trimmed ceremonial path they go
Together, silent and separate and eyes
Ahead like soldiers. Down the long path
What desert blanched these faces? What
Gullied the eyes and scarred the hanging hands
While Babylon and Nineveh were falling?
Now a shade darker will be a shade less dark.
Now there is room for evening in the park
Where cool episcopal bells will soon be calling.
From The Orb Weaver, Wesleyan
University Press, © 1960.
Reprinted by permission.