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More poems by W.S. MerwinW.S. Merwin | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by W.S. MerwinBooks by W.S. Merwin

The Speed Of Light

W.S. Merwin

So gradual in those summers was the going
     of the age it seemed that the long days setting out
when the stars faded over the mountains were not
     leaving us even as the birds woke in full song and the dew
glittered in the webs it appeared then that the clear morning
     opening into the sky was something of ours
to have and keep and that the brightness we could not touch
     and the air we could not hold had come to be there all the time
for us and would never be gone and that the axle
     we did not hear was not turning when the ancient car
coughed in the roofer's barn and rolled out echoing
     first thing into the lane and the only tractor
in the village rumbled and went into its rusty
     mutterings before heading out of its lean-to
into the cow pats and the shadow of the lime tree
     we did not see that the swallows flashing and the sparks
of their cries were fast in the spokes of the hollow
     wheel that was turning and turning us taking us
all away as one with the tires of the baker's van
     where the wheels of bread were stacked like days in calendars
coming and going all at once we did not hear
     the rim of the hour in whatever we were saying
or touching all day we thought it was there and would stay
     it was only as the afternoon lengthened on its
dial and the shadows reached out farther and farther
     from everything that we began to listen for what
might be escaping us and we heard high voices ringing
     the village at sundown calling their animals home
and then the bats after dark and the silence on its road

Added: 14 Sep 2001 | Last Read: 22 Apr 2018 4:53 AM | Viewed: 4563 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/1700/ | Viewed on 22 April 2018.
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