What is the boy now, who has lost his ball, What, what is he to do? I saw it go Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then Merrily over—there it is in the water! No use to say 'O there are other balls': An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down All his young days into the harbour where His ball went. I would not intrude on him, A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now He senses first responsibility In a world of possessions. People will take balls, Balls will be lost always, little boy, And no one buys a ball back. Money is external. He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes, The epistemology of loss, how to stand up Knowing what every man must one day know And most know many days, how to stand up And gradually light returns to the street A whistle blows, the ball is out of sight, Soon part of me will explore the deep and dark Floor of the harbour . . I am everywhere, I suffer and move, my mind and my heart move With all that move me, under the water Or whistling, I am not a little boy.