It was a winter morning, unbelievably cold.
So the thoughts went on,
from each question came
another question, like a twig from a branch,
like a branch from a black trunk.
the insulted body
raised on a cross like a criminal
to die publicly
above Jerusalem, the shimmering city
while in great flocks
birds circled the body, not partial
to this form over the others
since men were all alike,
defeated by the air,
whereas in air
the body of a bird becomes a banner:
But the lesson that was needed
was another lesson.
in green Judea, covered with the veil of life,
among the olive trees, among the many shapes
blurred by spring,
stopping to eat and rest, in obvious need,
among the thousand flowers,
some planted, some distributed by wind,
like all men, seeking
recognition on earth,
so that he spoke to the disciples
in a man's voice, lifting his intact hand:
was it the wind that spoke?
Or stroked Mary's hair, until she raised her eyes
no longer wounded
by his coldness, by his needless destruction
of the flesh which was her fulfillment—
This was not the sun.
This was Christ in his cocoon of light:
so they swore. And there were other witnesses
though they were all blind,
they were all swayed by love—
When I shut my eyes, it vanishes.
When I open my eyes, it reappears.
Outside, spring rain, a pulse, a film on the window.
And suddenly it is summer, all puzzling fruit and light.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Copyright © 2012 by Louise Glück
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission