Wednesday, March 14, 2007


And as you were indulging in the thesaurus,
or, more precisely, being indulged,
the word-rabbits came hippity-hopping along.
Soon it was dusk. The weary river passed
to ask you the same song over again; the birds
(who knew it all by now) were silent;
and it was time to mold the analytical
to the time-sensitive. That is,
to say that it had happened and we were
no worse for it. Indeed, the sky
and nearby barns seemed about to chime
as we were getting our stuff together, ready
to leave, as always, though no quite decided
what tributes to accept, if night should bring any.

What a chump! Excuse me . . .
It is to the wind and the wildflowers I address these
afterthoughts, if they can be dignified
as such. And I digress, too,
in the gloaming where all can be finessed
as we are incurably, undeniably aging,
only I can't tell what that feels like --
It's so true! Not when, but if.
But we'll know it before it happens -- we'll
recognize us from the way we look at each other,
not from any urgent movement forward
or anything like that.

-- John Ashbery


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