Distant scud of cloud, burst popcorn
or crumpled like sheep, the day jabbed in

like an afterthought. So much depended
on the sound unheard, shouts buried in fog,

indistinct as deaths telegraphed
along the old Atlantic cables. Sight,

though unreliable, narrated well enough.
That might have been called progress.

The sun bore the weight of revelation,
the masses gathered—whether a new mob

or cumulus nimbus remained to be seen.
Up the street marched the red flag.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 37 Number 5, on page 33
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