Once, Something, Never

By Fred Chappell

It lingers beyond the threshold
    of recall,
an incident that was no incident,
a moment something like a knothole
    in a wall
of pine, within the striate grain an
    opening,
rupture of the swift flow of days
    which sped
unhalted, that gave a placket glimpse
    of happening
complete, of one bright image that
    stamps,
even now
vivid, with its moment of amaze.
    It fled
at once, its joy upon the brain a glow
expired, and the ever-yearning soul
    has fed
upon what was only a presentiment
of something that was that never
    was at all.

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