Saturday, October 6, 2012

Jack Gilbert

Trying to Sleep

The girl shepherd on the farm beyond has been
taken from school now she is twelve, and her life is over.
I got my genius brother a summer job in the mills
and he stayed all his life. I lived with a woman four
years who went crazy later, escaped from the hospital,
hitchhiked across America terrified and in the snow
without a coat, and was raped by most men who gave her
a ride. I crank my heart even so and it turns over.
Ranges high in the sun over continents and eruptions
of mortality, through winds and immensities of rain
falling for miles. Until all the world is overcome
by what goes up and up in us, singing and dancing
and throwing down flowers as we continue north taking
the maimed with us, keeping the sad parts carefully.

--Jack Gilbert

fr. New Yorker, Aug. 2, 2004


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