Saturday, February 18, 2012

To the Grass of Autumn by W. S. Merwin

To the Grass of Autumn

You could never believe
It would come to this
One still morning
When before you noticed
 the birds already
were all but gone

even though year upon year
the rehearsal of it
must have surprised
your speechless parents
and unknown antecedents
long ago gathered to dust
and though even the children
have been taught how to say
the word withereth

no you were known to be
cool and countless
the bright vision on all
the green hills
rippling in unmeasured waves
through the days in flower

now you are as the fog
that sifts among you
gray in the chill daybreak
the voles scratch the dry earth
around your roots
hoping to find something before winter
and when the white air stirs
you whisper to yourselves
without exception
or need to know

September 18, 2001

Poems by W. S. Merwin
Present Company
Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2007

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