Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Am Learning To Abandon the World

I am learning to abandon the world
before it can abandon me.
Already I have given up the moon
and snow, closing my shades
against the claims of white.
And the world has taken
my father, my friends.
I have given up melodic lines of hills,
moving to a flat, tuneless landscape.
And every night I give my body up
limb by limb, working upwards
across bone, towards the heart.
But morning comes with small
reprieves of coffee and birdsong.
A tree outside the window
which was simply shadow moments ago
takes back its branches twig
by leafy twig.
And as I take my body back
the sun lays its warm muzzle on my lap
as if to make amends.

- by Linda Pastan

1 comment:

  1. You bring all of them to my house, and they stay for food, to sleep, and when I stop to smell the flowers, they seem to be hovering like a fragrance I might have missed. Should I thank them? Or should I thank you?

    I read this one now, in passing. My last four days have been devoted to Pastan. There will be so much you will not know, now. And maybe, you will wonder.

    The Quarrel by Linda Pastan

    If there were a monument
    to silence, it would not be
    the tree whose leaves
    murmur continuously
    among themselves;

    nor would it be the pond
    whose seeming stillness
    is shattered
    by the quicksilver
    surfacing of fish.

    If there were a monument
    to silence, it would be you
    standing so upright, so unforgiving,
    your mute back deflecting
    every word I say.