“Labor Day” by James Schuyler

A day late, but here’s James Schuyler’s poem “Labor Day”:

Labor Day

Not what I think
or see (I can’t:
sun in my eyes)
or remember, or
will be – what
do I know of that? –
or never knew
or know for sure,
just this day
its clarity:
bliss: an un-
ending kiss:
what a gyp,
that there is
but we, or
I, only get
to sense it.
It’s not like
that, this
day.  A family
of seven
walk down our
street, a tot
on his father’s
shoulders. Three
policemen chat.
The fancy grocer’s
is open.  Liquor
store shut: I
foresaw that.
Drums in my room:
“We can make
each other happy.”
Radiant clarity,
why, today, do
I think of death?

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