The Stone carving

The words that rang around the sacrificial victims

have flown: we'll never hear them, can't imagine

the words for harvest weather, showers of hail:

They're dead, along with words for man and woman.

The sounds which they called their long boats —

carved here with all their naked ribs exposed —

we'll never hear: what milk was, or the sun's name,

their love songs, words for senses, or the sound

of eye, nose, mouth and ear. How did they sound?

The summer words that lived in speech through winter

and their words for snow; the word for autumn apples.

We cannot even hear their name for weighty death:

though here we see that word, we'll never hear it.

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