The Ceaseless Falling

The landings of this world are rehearsed:

And so the heron sinks into the water and the deer

Joins in the flood, and so the face of one’s mother joins

The lies that save her face:

Always there is war flaming in South Africa

Always empires are dying and refueling

Always the children grow more staid than their parents

And love seems to darken in each walk by the river:

The silence of the brook is a place for heron, for deer:

And soon the wind will break in the dogwoods; the light

Will snag in the willow–and love, love

Shall it ever follow me to the river?

From Take Five: Collected Poems, 1971-1986, by Kenneth McClane

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