Friday, January 6, 2012

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly, 
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow. 
Down the ravine behind the empty house, 
The cowbells follow one another 
Into the distances of the afternoon. 
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines, 
The droppings of last year’s horses 
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on. 
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

~  James Wright
from Above the River: The Complete Poems and Selected Prose


erin said...

i know this poem. i smile. and i just lived this response when my love told me of an especially beautiful story that was really only a gesture. i felt, i have wasted my life. i have not lived. i have just died.

sometimes a whole life's worth can be made/measured in a gesture, i think.