Thursday, April 7, 2011

318. The Wait through Spring for Spring

And now I make
a record of things
out of the things
I have, which are
the words I have
both seen and heard
and call it a poem
or a letter to you,
or I call it done.

About the time
that I kept
the records of this,
I was fifty years
of age, and the idea
came to me, so I
learned to perceive
and observe, as
I made these things.

And when I am
fifty-one years old,
I will be done with
this and remember
the things I have
observed concerning
these words and
the people I have
surprised with these.

I went onto a hill
today, but not a hill
of dirt or mud, just
a mountain of snow
melting into ice and
melting into water
and running away,
and all of it deposited
at the edge of a park.

I beheld this mountain
rolling toward sunset
and how it was filled
with garbage picked up
off the road by trucks,
and these lost things,
each filthy, seemed
to me the scarred
remainders of a people.

And what I observed
concerning this people
was that I was not one
of them, but inseparable
from them, that I re-
membered things these
people wanted, wanted
none myself, but captured
and remembered each.

I was carried over
this land by a compulsion
to see the whole face
of the land and how it had
become covered with
broken things and words
carved onto paper, onto
cans, onto the insides of
bits of rocking plastic.

These bits of garbage,
numerous as thoughts
through this city, were
all I could find among
mountains of snow, in
the borders between
snow and dirt, by waters
that flowed from them,
and been gathered there.

I withdrew from this place
of unintentional design,
snow and trash settled
in the land, the place
where everything comes
to cease, and I moved
away over the slippery
ground, wondering if
I’d used all my words yet.

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