Poem of the Week, by Jeredith Merrin

One of my sisters once said, about something she was trying to get past in her life, “If you don’t get over it, then. . . you don’t get over it. That’s your punishment.” That line has always stayed with me, because it’s true. Don’t forgive someone for something, live in bitterness. Shun love because someone hurt you, live with a stingy heart. In the end, you punish yourself. This poem, and the beautiful Rilke poem that inspired it, makes me remember what my sister said, and the sound of her voice when she said it.

 

Late Harvest
(after Rilke’s “Herbsttag”)
– Jeredith Merrin

Time, it is time.
Summer has been
long-stretched-out, full.
Go ahead, Fall:
shrink down the days
and sugar the grapes
for late-harvest wine.

Anyone still unknown
to herself will stay,
probably, that way.
Anyone unlinked by love
will be love-
left out now—waking,
mind-pacing
up and down
up and down,
restless as leaf-bits
and papers in the street.

 

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