Masses: Steel

painting by Marlene Vine (, poem by Roy Herndon Smith

Steel (16.5)

the metallic call
of a bird cutting the sheet
of the evening blue

into intricate
orchestrations of cool notes
a dog’s hot barks strike

three times, then, close up
silence and, in the background
waves of cars roaring

and receding, leaving
voices, like pebbles on sand, 
or a rock, picked up

but, like the coming
impenetrable darkness
not known, the bird trills

again, voices fall
still, a baby’s distant cry
breaks on thrumming steel