Louise Gluck

(22 April 1943 / New York / United States)

Retreating Wind


When I made you, I loved you.
Now I pity you.

I gave you all you needed:
bed of earth, blanket of blue air--

As I get further away from you
I see you more clearly.
Your souls should have been immense by now,
not what they are,
small talking things--

I gave you every gift,
blue of the spring morning,
time you didn't know how to use--
you wanted more, the one gift
reserved for another creation.

Whatever you hoped,
you will not find yourselves in the garden,
among the growing plants.
Your lives are not circular like theirs:

your lives are the bird's flight
which begins and ends in stillness--
which begins and ends, in form echoing
this arc from the white birch
to the apple tree.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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