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This poem is taken from PN Review 199, Volume 37 Number 5, May - June 2011.

Eight Poems Michael Symmons Roberts
Hymn to November

Strangers are tethered to dogs, or sit
in oversized and idling cars, or bear
heavy coats and bags as ballast.
I keep myself grounded with stones
in my pockets, stuck in the treads of my boots.


Yet this morning the city itself
could take-off, in such blind winter light.
Our words rise up in rapture,
and breath curls like an offering.
Old stones re-cast as celestial.

Amid all this weightlessness, a beggar
strips in the street, wants out. No-one helps.
There is no way to the soul
but through the body
. A butcher hangs
a haunch inside his window.Ave.
...


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