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Wild Geese by Wendell Berry

Post Series: Poetry Thursday

Wild Geese

by Wendell Berry


Horseback on Sunday morning,

harvest over, we taste persimmon

and wild grape, sharp sweet

of summer’s end. In time’s maze

over the fall fields, we name names

that went west from here,

names that rest on graves. We open

a persimmon seed to find the tree

that stands in promise,

pale, in the seed’s marrow.

Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,

as in love or sleep, holds

them to their way, clear,

in the ancient faith: what we need

is here. And we pray, not

for new earth or heaven, but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye

clear. What we need is here.


(From Collected Poems, 1957-1982, North Point Press, 1987)

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