Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
March Wind
By Edwin Ford Piper
 
THE MOODY wind—is this its grudge day? Whoo!
 
Against the dusty sky, in the late sun,
A veering flock of mottled pigeons bounce
From the shoulders of a gust. In our village street
The captious wind runs races with itself,        5
As a dog pursues its tail; with brute persistence
It buffets leafless elm and maple bough,
Tears at the stiff-armed oak.

                        From the window-pane
Little Fred looks for his father—he grew tired
Of playing outdoors with so rude a comrade;        10
For the wind hustles, keeps on pushing people,
Makes the street a barrier to neighboring houses,
Besieges timid folk.

                Now the reddish sun
Abandons the world to the wind. In alien twilight
He whistles at keyhole, hisses at the window,        15
Makes all the timbers groan, exults—cuwooff!
 
Our lamplight in the kitchen shudders, staggers,
As Burton blows in from the writhing darkness,
And sets both knee and shoulder to the door
To force it shut.

            “Hooray! I want my supper!
        20
Good thing the trees are rooted! How the draught
Reddens the stovepipe!”

                Supper chat is over.
I look out; clouds are hurrying past the stars;
I listen to the rising talk of the wind:
Puff, pant, moan, roar, and wail. It flaps and tugs        25
At fence and gate, it throws a wooden bench
Tumbling along the yard. I ask myself,
Has the wind any grudge against our house?
 
At bed-time it still rages. In the night
I lie and hear the creature—wiff, cuwooff!—        30
Rattling the sashes, bruising on the gable
The budding twigs of the elm.

                        I move to the window:
My husband sleeps as men who labor sleep;
And Fred and Jimmie both lie full of sleep.
Little Mabel stirs—is it that nerves of women        35
Respond to the nerves of storms? Cuwiff, cuwooff!
 
Unquiet stars. Dim leafless shapes of elm
Beating the dark between me and the stars;
Twisted at, jerked at, strained to the inmost heart,
Surging at the roots, moaning in the angry wind.        40
 
Why should this monster need the help of night?
The rushing presence, with invisible bulk,
Has laid a heaving shoulder to my house:
The timbers strain, walls quiver, my heart shakes.
 
A thump, a crash on the roof, the bouncing slide        45
Of a brick—a dozen bricks—

                    “O Burton, say!—
It’s got the chimney! Bring the boys down cellar!
I’m afraid of the wind in such a night! Come, Mabel!
I’ll wrap you in this quilt!”

                Cuwiff! Cuwooff!
 
 
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