Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"May Song" by Wendell Berry

Photo: "Weeds in the Rubble" by Jenny Brighton

For whatever is let go
there's a taker.
The living discovers itself

where no preparation
was made for it,
where its only privilege

is to live if it can.
The window flies from the dark
of the subway mouth

into the sunlight
stained with the green
of the spring weeds

that crowd the improbable
black earth
of the embankment,

their stout leaves
like the tongues and bodies
of a herd, feeding

on the new heat,
drinking at the seepage
of the stones:

the freehold of life,
triumphant
even in the waste

of those who possess it.
But it is itself the possessor,
we know at last,

seeing it send out weeds
to take back
whatever is left.

Proprietor, pasturing foliage
on the rubble,
making use

of the useless--a beauty
we have less than not
deserved.

"May Song" by Wendell Berry, from New Collected Poems.
© Counterpoint Press, 2012.

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