High Windows

This is the job
that finally
they gave me:
in spring, in autumn
to sweep up the bodies
of finches
around the bases
of the crystal-windowed
towers.

When I used to sleep
on the streets,
it was similar: one of us
died, the body
would be picked up
but as long as we lived,
never.

It was as though
there were someone somewhere
who said: Let them live.
Let them be
always. Let them
alone. Let us have them
with us
as they are
forever.

So strange it was,
and seemed, at first:
one of us disappeared,
no trace, or just
the filthy crumpled
bag of stuff
left in a corner,
but where was she?—until
it ceased to appear,
so often it happened,
a wonder.

Seasonal work,
a job for a while,
to search the long planters
and bases of the walls for birds
who break against windows
in the times of migration:
unable to see
the hardness in the shining
image of the new
more perfect world’s
openness.

In the future there are people
who will have to imagine
what world these
words of mine
are living in—imagine it
from their day
in which there is no longer
the knowledge of what
were towers.

A. F. Moritz

A. F. Moritz

A. F. Moritz's The Sparrow: Selected Poems appeared in April. In 2015. he published, SequenceI: a Poem, and in the same year Princeton University Press re-issued his 1986 book The Tradition (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets) in the Princeton Legacy Series. A Canadian poet, he has won the Griffin Poetry Prize and three times been a finalist for the Governor General's Award. In the United States, his poetry has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Beth Hokin Prize of Poetry, the Ingram Merrill Fellowship, and other awards, and his poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Hudson Review, Paris Review, Partisan Review, several issues of the Best American Poetry anthology series, and elsewhere. He is Blake C. Goldring Professor of the Arts and Society at the University of Toronto, Victoria College. (Author's photo by Steve Payne.)
A. F. Moritz

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Author: A. F. Moritz

A. F. Moritz's The Sparrow: Selected Poems appeared in April. In 2015. he published, SequenceI: a Poem, and in the same year Princeton University Press re-issued his 1986 book The Tradition (Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets) in the Princeton Legacy Series. A Canadian poet, he has won the Griffin Poetry Prize and three times been a finalist for the Governor General's Award. In the United States, his poetry has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Beth Hokin Prize of Poetry, the Ingram Merrill Fellowship, and other awards, and his poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Hudson Review, Paris Review, Partisan Review, several issues of the Best American Poetry anthology series, and elsewhere. He is Blake C. Goldring Professor of the Arts and Society at the University of Toronto, Victoria College. (Author's photo by Steve Payne.)