Sean O'Brien

It Says Here

 

That the way through the woods runs out in a blizzard.
That the ocean does not, is eternal,
And still for a while you may cross the great ice-dome
By dog-sled, though at your own risk.
That the book you are reading is one of a kind,
That its door opens inwards and cannot be closed.
That the train going over a bridge at night
Has somewhere to get to that even the driver,
Heroic and faceless and bathed in the heat
From the firebox, never discovers.
That the sky is a page where with a flourish
The birds write the truth in invisible ink
And the eye is too slow to be certain
That this word and that word are never to meet,
Or the poem will sicken and die.
That when you glance up from your reading
The rivers divide and divide till at last
You step down at a halt in the woods
With its name painted over,
And there in the evening the bride and the gamekeeper
Wait with their faces averted, wait
For the signal to shift and the lamp to glow red
And a train to arrive, but not yet and not yet.
That though this is August the snow is beginning.
You blink, and the woods are half buried
And the travellers gone, and as for the fire and the rose
That it now seems you set out in search of,
That is a different story, or so it says here.

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