Thursday, April 1, 2010

W.S. Merwin


The wall in front of me is all one black
mirror in which I see my hands
washing themselves all by themselves
knowing what they are doing
as though they belong to someone
I do not see there and have never seen
who must be older than I am
since he knows what he is doing
above the basin of bright metal
in the black wall where the water looks
still as a frozen lake at night
though the bright ripples on it
are trembling and under me the floor
and my feet on it are trembling
it is late it was late when we started
over my shoulder my mother's voice
is telling me what we do next
on the way and how the train is made
that is taking us away and in a while
I will be asleep and I will
wake up far away
we are going south
where I know that my father
is going to die
but I will grow up before he does that
the hands go on washing by themselves

-from The Shadow of Sirius
Copper Canyon Press, 2009
Winner, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

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