Coals glow; flames flicker on the backs of books;
Giovanni shifts his head
And squints a little, trying to isolate
So faint a note of dread:
Not the metallic pip of wheeling bats,
Not a wind-scuffled bough
And not the bite of wheel in gravel road-edge.
Who made the sound? Where? How?
What moves beyond his sight?
Good books, wry memoirs, will not answer this
Occasion of pure fright.
For who can tell what casual hour will bring
Out of the bruise-blue night
A marble parent thundering at the door?