Saturday, April 23, 2011

"In View of the Fact" by A.R. Ammons


In View of the Fact

The people of my time are passing away: my
wife is baking for a funeral, A 60-year-old who

died suddenly, when the phone rings, and it's
Ruth we care so much about in intensive care:

it was once weddings that came so thick and
fast, and then, babies, such a hullabaloo:

now, it's this that and the other and somebody
else gone or on the brink: well, we never

thought we would live forever (although we did)
and now it looks like we won't: some of us

are losing a leg to diabetes, some don't know
what they went downstairs for, some know that

a hired watchful person is around, some like
to touch the cane tip into something steady,

so nice: we have already lost so many,
brushed the loss of ourselves ourselves: our

address books for so long a slow scramble now
are palimpests, scribbble and scratches: our

index cards for Christmases, birthdays,
halloweens drop clean away into sympathies:

at the same time we are getting used to so
many leaving, we are hanging on with a grip

to the ones left: we are not giving up on the
congestive heart failures or brain tumors, on

the nice old men left in empty houses or on
the widows who decide to travel a lot: we

think the sun may shine someday when we'll
drink wine together and think of what used to

be: until we die we will remember every
single thing, recall every word, love every

loss: then we will, as we must, leave it to
others to love, love that can grow brighter

and deeper till the very end, gaining strength
and getting more precious all the way ....




-
A.R. Ammons
found in Till I End My Song; A Gathering Of Last Poems, Ed. Harold Bloom (Harper, 2010)

3 comments:

Akeith Walters said...

A good poem with good imagery. Yet another poet to read, yes.

Great blog.

imightbechad said...

"A Coast of Trees" is in my top 10.

Luke said...

I find that I can never read enough Ammons. He's something else.