Our Refugee in the Strife

 
Trashcans in grumpy rows where twilight comes
   down canyons of the slums—
devils are dancing there that won't stay hid,
   and terror flips its lid.
 
God of our fathers, art Thou still our Guide?
   Then show us where to hide,
untroubled by dashiki, beard or turban;
   teach us to be suburban.
 
Give us, O Lord, whose hearts are underfed,
   this day our fluffy bread. . .
I take our shining glory from its niche,
   load it, and press the switch:
 
two slices on an automated coaster
   sink down into the toaster
with their white faces and seductive smell
   like devils into Hell.




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Throughout a long life, Richard Moore has won through to the belief that the only real reward in the arts of writing is the writing itself. The first of his nineteen books was published and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize when he was 44. The books that followed have brought the total to a novel, a book of literary essays, translations of a Greek tragedy and a Roman comedy, and fifteen books of poetry. These include a sequence of fifty-eight Petrarchan sonnets, an epic of American history, and an epic in trimeter couplets whose hero is a mouse born and raised in a sewer.