Friday, January 20, 2017


To the Words

When it happens you are not there

O you beyond numbers

beyond recollection

passed on from breath to breath

given again

from day to day from age

to age

charged with knowledge

knowing nothing

indifferent elders

indispensable and sleepless

keepers of our names

before ever we came

to be called by them

you that were

formed to begin with

you that were cried out

you that were spoken

to begin with

to say what could not be said

ancient precious

and helpless ones

say it


W. S. Merwin
Copper Canyon Press