Poetry of Kansas

Tertium Quid

Did Cleopatra or some siren give you birth?
Or by some Pharaoh were you anciently conceived?
When suddenly I turn and find your haunting eyes
In quizzical and gray pursuit of my relieved
 
Retreat, I wonder, Are you devil, saint or monk?
Whatever badge you wear, this present humdrum age
You could not claim. A thousand years have you not
        drunk
The wine of Moloch? Sodom's and Gomorrah's page
 
Contained your name in red. And did you one time make
Macbeth thrust in his sword? or walk with her in sleep?
That darkly spectral glance of yours could never take
From this dull span its look insidiously deep.
 
But from some early eon you do, Sphynx-like, stare
At me. And from the sins of centuries you think
My holocaust a childish puerile affair
At which the gods of time would credulously blink.
 
And when you dryly and obscurely look away
From me, I all but know I was born yesterday.

__Margaret E. Haughawout.

 

Sheep's Clothing
Margaret E. Haughawout
Page 39
(Pittsburg, Kansas: __. 1929)

 
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January 2, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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