[26] Waking Up, Windy Night in Summer, Robert Bly


When he wakes, a man is like the Earth
Rolling over, as it rolls at dawn, turning
Jagged mountains gradually and grasslands
Up to the fierce light of space.

Someone in me remembered all night
To breathe on as I slept.
The breath protected me the way the atmosphere
Around the earth protects the earth.

When I was a small boy I like to think
I thought once it would be best to die.
That would make everything better
For others, and knives flew around the house.

At dawn I resemble a soldier who wakes after a battle,
His friends all dead, and himself still alive.
What do I do?  I walk through the ditch grass,
Skirting the towns, asking in barns for fresh milk.



The weeping willow sends its shadows out;
They brush the grass again and again.
The wind once caught under the right
Horn of the moon is loose,
Making the barn doors rattle.

One man saw the moon come loose
From its place, descend
Toward him nearer and nearer.
He felt himself to be a small boy again
Fainting in his mother’s arms

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