THE SHORTEST DAY
PREMONITION AT TWILIGHT
The magpie in the Joshua tree
Has come to rest. Darkness collects,
And what I cannot hear or see,
Broken limbs, the curious bird,
Become in darkness darkness too.
I had been going when I heard
The sound of something called the night;
I had been going but I stopped
To see the bird restrain his flight.
The bird in place, the shadows dropped
As if they waited in the light
Before I came for centuries
For something I could never see;
And what it was became itself,
And then the bird, and then the tree;
And then the force behind the breeze
Became at last the whole of me.
from On The Edge © 1963