April Poem #2

End of the Day

 

In the long evening of April through the cool light

         Baille’s two sheep dogs sail down the lane like magpies

for the flock a moment before he appears near the oaks

         a stub of a man rolling as he approaches

smiling and smiling and his dogs are afraid of him

         we stand among the radiant stones looking out across

green lucent wheat and earth combed red under bare walnut limbs

         bees hanging late in cowslips and lingering bird cherry

stumps and brush that had been the grove of hazel trees

         where the land turns above the draped slopes and the valley

with its one sunbeam and we exchange a few questions

         as thought nothing were different but he has bulldozed the upland

pastures and shepherds huts into piles of rubble

         and has his sheep fenced in everyone’s meadows now

smell of box and damp leaves drifts from the woods where a blackbird

          is warning of nightfall and Baille has plans now to demolish

the ancient walls of the lane and level it wide

          so that trucks can go all the way down to where the lambs

with perhaps two weeks to live are waiting for him at the wire

          he hurried toward them as the sun sinks and the hour

turns chill as iron and in the oaks the first nightingales

          of the year kindle their unapproachable voices

 

By W. S. Merwin 

from “The Vixen”

This entry was posted in Being Human, capturing light, change, conversations, delusions of progress, my museum of inspiration, Other peoples words, paying attention, poetry, spring, Walking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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