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If they come in the night

by Marge Piercy

Long ago on a night of danger and vigil
a friend said, Why are you happy?
He explained (we lay together
on a hard cold floor) what prison
meant because he had done
time, and I talked of the death
of friends.  Why are you happy
then
, he asked, close to
angry.

I said, I like my life.  If I
have to give it back, if they
take it from me, let me only
not feel I wasted any, let me
not feel I forgot to love anyone
I meant to love, that I forgot
to give what I held in my hands,
that I forgot to do some little
piece of the work that wanted
to come through.

Sun and moonshine, starshine,
the muted grey light off the waters
of the bay at night, the white
light of the fog stealing in,
the first spears of the morning,
how beautiful touching a face
I love.  We all lose
everything.  We lose
ourselves.  We are lost.

Only what we manage to do
lasts, what love sculpts from us;
but what I count, my rubies, my
children, are those moments
wide open when I know clearly
who I am, who you are, what we
do, a marigold, an oakleaf, a meteor,
with all my senses hungry and filled
at once like a pitcher with light.

Comments

varina8
Nov. 11th, 2010 06:50 pm (UTC)
How perfect for this fall day. Thank you.