Wednesday, May 6, 2009

i left my heart in a rain-weary country i've never visited

When I was searching through all those poems last week, trying to find a good one to thank the volunteers, I came across this one below. Out of the literally hundreds I looked at, this is the one that has haunted me. It reminds me of all those dark, melodic eastern european films that break my heart and linger in my dreams.

W.S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

Ah. It makes me want to walk through a foreign street, alone, in the rain. Speaking of this...the other day I was with two co-workers. One had just traveled to DC for a conference and described his anxiety taking the subway, not knowing exactly how to get around, afraid of being lost. I mean really afraid. My other co-worker said that was her worst fear. I suddenly felt so out of place. That's one of my happiest wishes. Lost in a city of untrodden paths, full of possibility, the newness allowing me to really see.

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