Sunday, April 18, 2010

Donald Justice


Everyone, everyone went away today.
They left without a word, and I think
I did not hear a single goodbye today.

And all that I saw was someone's hand, I think,
thrown up out there like the hand of someone drowning,
But far away, too far to be sure what it was or meant.

No, but I saw how everything had changed
Later, just as the light had; and at night
I saw that from dream to dream everything changed.

And those who might have come to me in the night,
The ones who did come back but without a word,
All those I remembered passed through my hands like clouds--

Clouds out of the south, familiar clouds--
But I could not hold on to them, they were drifting away,
Everything going away in the night again and again.

from Departures, 1973, in Collected Poems

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