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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 3 Number 3, 1974.

The Sleigh (after a theme of Turgenev) Michael Schmidt
(after a theme of Turgenev)

The colours have gone out.
It is like death - blind white
and the sun is white: we speed
the way we always wished -
a sleigh, the harness bells - across the snow.

It's not what we expected.
Afraid on the ice road
we ring out to empty farms
that we've come their way but can not stop.
Who set the burning pennies on our eyes?

Think - if the runners struck a rut
and hurled us into temporary graves,
face-down like heretics; or if the jingling
ceased and we flew silently
on into the open throat of night.
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