Through a Glass

My face in the train window no color
years later taking me by surprise
when remembered looking older of course
behind it the fields I had known that long
flashing through it once again before I could
catch them the afternoon light the small lane
swinging by where an old man was walking
with a dog and their shadows while the face
raced past without moving and was neither
the daylight going nor the sight of it
once a snake left its whole skin by my door
still rustling without breath without a sound
all of a piece a shade out in the air
the silent rings in which a life had journeyed


From THE PUPIL (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001)

 

Poems by W. S. Merwin

Air

Place

Through a Glass