I love the word
And hear its long struggle with no
Even in the bird’s throat and budging crocus.
Some winter’s night
I see it flood the faces
Of my friends, ripen their laughter
And plant early flowers in
You will understand when I say
It is for me a morning word
Though it is older than the sea
And hisses in a way
That may have given
To the serpent itself.
It is this ageless incipience
Whose influence is found
In the first and last pages of books,
In the grim skin of the affirmative battler
And in the voices of women
That constitutes the morning quality
We have all
Thought what it must be like
Never to grow old,
The dreams of our elders have mythic endurance
Though their hearts are stilled
But the only agelessness
I am always beginning to appreciate
The agony from which it is born.
Clues from here and there
Suggest such agony is hard to bear
But it is the shaping God
Of the word that we
Sometimes hear, and struggle to be.