I have a life that did not become, that turned aside and stopped, astonished: I hold it in me like a pregnancy or as on my lap a child not to grow old but dwell on
it is to his grave I most frequently return and return to ask what is wrong, what was wrong, to see it all by the light of a different necessity but the grave will not heal and the child, stirring, must share my grave with me, an old man having gotten by on what was left
when I go back to my home country in these fresh far-away days, it’s convenient to visit everybody, aunts and uncles, those who used to say, look how he’s shooting up, and the trinket aunts who always had a little something in their pocketbooks, cinnamon bark or a penny or nickel, and uncles who were the rumored fathers of cousins who whispered of them as of great, if troubled, presences, and school
teachers, just about everybody older (and some younger) collected in one place waiting, particularly, but not for me, mother and father there, too, and others close, close as burrowing under skin, all in the graveyard assembled, done for, the world they used to wield, have trouble and joy in, gone
the child in me that could not become was not ready for others to go, to go on into change, blessings and horrors, but stands there by the road where the mishap occurred, crying out for help, come and fix this or we can’t get by, but the great ones who were to return, they could not or did not hear and went on in a flurry and now, I say in the graveyard, here lies the flurry, now it can’t come back with help or helpful asides, now we all buy the bitter incompletions, pick up the knots of horror, silently raving, and go on crashing into empty ends not completions, not rondures the fullness has come into and spent itself from
I stand on the stump of a child, whether myself or my little brother who died, and yell as far as I can, I cannot leave this place, for for me it is the dearest and the worst, it is life nearest to life which is life lost: it is my place where I must stand and fail, calling attention with tears to the branches not lofting boughs into space, to the barren air that holds the world that was my world
though the incompletions (& completions) burn out standing in the flash high-burn momentary structure of ash, still it is a picture-book, letter-perfect Easter morning: I have been for a walk: the wind is tranquil: the brook works without flashing in an abundant tranquility: the birds are lively with voice: I saw something I had never seen before: two great birds, maybe eagles, blackwinged, whitenecked and –headed, came from the south oaring the great wings steadily; they went directly over me, high up, and kept on due north: but then one bird, the one behind, veered a little to the left and the other bird kept on seeming not to notice for a minute: the first began to circle as if looking for something, coasting, resting its wings on the down side of some of the circles: the other bird came back and they both circled, looking perhaps for a draft; they turned a few more times, possibly rising—at least, clearly resting— then flew on falling into distance till they broke across the local bush and trees: it was a sight of bountiful majesty and integrity: the having patterns and routes, breaking from them to explore other patterns or better ways to routes, and then the return: a dance sacred as the sap in the trees, permanent in its descriptions as the ripples round the brook’s ripplestone: fresh as this particular flood of burn breaking across us now from the sun.