Late Song

/ /

After Rilke

To still be standing: to have lived through it all,
even happiness—calmly, fully—with true joy.
Wordlessly trials came, then in word and voice.
Who wouldn’t look back wide-eyed at the spectacle?

As long as life lasts no one reaches such mastery,
because no one can—only the infinite strives
infinitely. And what happens to our lives
is not as new as the gold-green of the birch trees.

A wood dove coos. And burdens that come back
feel like burdens that are only about to begin.
The bird calls and calls. You exist, diminuendo,
in the midst of that song, and entirely awake.

For David Ferry