"t h e r e w a s a w o r d
for that -- I am forgettin' it;
forgettin' things I thought I'd never not know --
As I once understood th' way a shackle will turn
to follow th' wire rope reaching back to th' pulley,
or which way th' water will run when it falls
from th' crook of an east-leaning alder in th' rain,
or run from an alder's elbow that leans west,
when th' storm comes in, always from southwest.
Oh, th' word! A short one, I should be able to just
say it! Clevis! Yes, we called a shackle a Clevis,
I don't know why. So, John, he picked up th' Clevis
and hung it on th' drawbar of the Cat, slipped
th' loop onto it, and reached to set th' pin;
but Alley, he thought he'd heard John say 'Ready,'
an' put her into gear. So. That wire rope
sang just like a bowstring, an' th' Clevis
rotated right around th' slot in th' drawbar
an' went through John like he was made of suet.
He stood there for a moment -- like me now –
trying to remember. Fixin' in his mind
what it had been like, bein' alive."