The Brigata INTRODUCTION

Although far removed
from the puritanical hues of church-
doors and hanging
irons, although a public-
bus ride away from the fields of
paradise, with small birds harkening
from the scrawled trees, it was still
the dead of winter, and the illness
had frozen to the sidewalks much like
the flecks of surprising ice, and the

pedagogic newsprint went on with a dull monologue-
there were the sick of course,
who were always sick, and the poor,
who clung to their poverty with
frightening pervasiveness, and there
was a small place,

with a condensation of webbed eyes, and when finally
like winter breaking the illness descended,

ten of that number forwarded
towards the raised Calvinist pulpit, leaning on
the tarnished wooden
facings, flicking through the forgotten psalms lying
cluttered along the floor, and they sat speechless
with the threat. February was nearly done,
and the black-
eyed disease had come swooping forward on all
the soda machines, on the busses, the leather-
seated automobiles,

and ten sat in the
Puritanical bastion watching silently,
until among them came a starry
wondering, almost as sudden
as a new shoreline.

"Let us go," said one "To the countryside, and we can
drink from those streams, and we can buy bottled
soda from the smallest unafflicted gas-
station delis, and let us go. I have had quite enough of
this gray-
colored plague."

and the nine agreed. and they started off, leaving the illness, and they
were all on the cusp of speaking, without wanting to say anything at
all of note.