Mark Strand

Poems by Mark Strand

Old Man Leaves Party

The Garden

For Her

  Mark Strand

Old Man Leaves Party

It was clear when I left the party
That though I was over eighty I still had
A beautiful body.  The moon shone down as it will
On moments of deep introspection.  The wind held its breath.
And look, somebody left a mirror leaning against a tree.
Making sure that I was alone, I took off my shirt.
The flowers of bear grass nodded their moonwashed heads.
I took off my pants and the magpies circled the redwoods.
Down in the valley the creaking river was flowing once more.
How strange that I should stand in the wilds alone with my body.
I know what you are thinking.  I was like you once.  But now
With so much before me, so many emerald trees, and
Weed-whitened fields, mountains and lakes, how could I not
Be only myself, this dream of flesh, from moment to moment?

 

From BLIZZARD OF ONE (Knopf 1998)