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with Jesus

Brett Foster (contemporary)

Lamentation: September 18
           New Haven, Connecticut (2001)

Petitions gilded by the chapel hymns
give pause to all the Old Quad bystanders
who silently await their fiery autumns.
Sedated hours decline like grains of sand.

This week I take sharp comfort from those things
insisting on a long deliverance:
fountain daily passed, peal of bells, a singing
undergrad in tweeds learning Caedmon's trance,

firm, requickened lines on some Benign one
who once established heaven as a roof
for the sons of men. Be it seven days,

or years that raise their emblems from hard clay,
when the coming times compose a garrison,
will these courtyards still feed the steady proofs?

           Brett Foster was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University before moving to Yale, where he is now completing his PhD in Renaissance Studies. His poems and translations have appeared in a number of publications.

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