The New York Review of Books - - Contents - Louise Glück

Day and night come hand in hand like a boy and a girl paus­ing only to eat wild berries out of a dish painted with pic­tures of birds.

They climb the high ice-cov­ered moun­tain, then they fly away. But you and I don’t do such things—

We climb the same moun­tain;

I say a prayer for the wind to lift us but it does no good; you hide your head so as not to see the end—

Down­ward and down­ward and down­ward and down­ward is where the wind is tak­ing us;

I try to com­fort you but words are not the an­swer;

I sing to you as mother sang to me—

Your eyes are closed. We pass the boy and girl we saw at the be­gin­ning; now they are stand­ing on a wooden bridge; I can see their house be­hind them;

How fast you go they call to us, but no, the wind is in our ears, that is what we hear—

And then we are sim­ply fall­ing—

And the world goes by, all the worlds, each more beau­ti­ful than the last;

I touch your cheek to pro­tect you— —Louise Glück

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