Saturday Poem

The Difficult Word

The oaks reluctantly let their leaves fall,
And hesitatingly allow their branches to be bare;
And the bear spends all winter in separation.

The beauty of marriage is such that it dissolves
All earlier unions, and leads man and wife
To walk together on the road of separation.

It’s a difficult word. The thought frightens us
That this planet with all its darkening geese
Was created not for union but for separation.

Suppose there were a dragon curled inside each drop
Of water, defending its gold. It’s possible
That abundance has the same effect as separation.

We all knew nothing of this when we floated
In the joy of the womb; but when our lips touched
Our mother’s breast, we said, “This is separation.”

It is my longing to smooth the feathers
Of brown birds, and to touch the sides of horses
That has led me to spend my life in separation.

by Robert Bly
from The Night Abraham Called to the Stars
Harper Collins, 2001