Why not, body?
Why, body, had you no self-belief
in the days of your youth, finally you are
a shape in this form and you'll cease
to be soon – why not? Did
the mind mislead you as though wonders
of higher virtue, of truth lay in wait?
And you always wanted to be someone else.
Now it will soon be night in us. And you?
Will you do anything to help me through?
Body, I never trusted you,
never gave credence to your needs,
you were mine and that was that. I thought
I was where there would be no future,
dawdling in deeds of invention, review.
And you’re here and busy with your dying.
You remember, body, where you still feel the grooves
of oak planks when sitting on that bridge,
as children, on long summer evenings
above the stream saw the sluggish water
full of mysterious life, weeds, fishes,
our own reflection, and I thoughtless,
was unaware of you, simply submerged in
a freedom to be nothing but thus?
Just to look and hear the calm snuffling
of grazers in the fields, close by –
That balance, you were not yet there then
as now, still unannounced, still silent in yourself –
We're passing, though I do not want to go,
body, you’ll be the death of me yet if
you do not surrender the images you bear in you
to me – but I , who am I without you?
I'll be good as gold if you’ll just listen.
Why, body, did I never extol you?