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Daniel and Claire Go Riding in the Prairie


Where did it come from, this pale skin,

This tall quixotic gallant strain

Among my moody Chinese kin,

This that I mixed my seed with, and my grain?


I see them riding side by side,

My son with his long back and hand,

My niece, white-freckled, dignified,

With the same fine desperate self-command.


All beauties now seem faint beside

Those essences of personhood

That float apart or coincide

According to the genes' vicissitude.


Their silence and their sudden smile,

Their brown eyes and their length of bone,

Their calmness with the animal,

Their singleness, as one who walks alone,


Denote the puer still intact,

Puella candid as the flower,

That through the mixing and the act

Preserve the soul's perfection and its power.


Frederick Turner



From April Wind, 1991.  Reprinted by

permission of University Press of Virginia.



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