Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Ordinary Day

I was sent this poem a few days ago. It is such a beautiful follow-up to yesterday's post.



by Wendell Berry

Though he was ill and in pain,

in disobedience to the instruction

would have received if he had asked,

the old man got up from his bed,

dressed, and went to the barn.

The bare branches of winter had emerged

through the last leaf-colors of fall,

the loveliest of all, browns and yellows

delicate and nameless in the gray light

and the sifting rain. He put feed

in the troughs for eighteen ewe lambs,

sent the dog for them, and she

brought them. They came eager

to their feed, and he who felt

their hunger was by their feeding

eased. From no place in the time

of present places, within no boundary

nameable in human thought,

they had gathered once again,

the shepherd, his sheep, and his dog

with all the known and the unknown

round about to the heavens' limit.

Was this his stubbornness or bravado?

No. Only an ordinary act

of profoundest intimacy in a day

that might have been better. Still

the world persisted in its beauty,

he in his gratitude, and for this

he had most earnestly prayed.

1 comment:

The Pollinatrix said...

This will be simmering in my soul for a while.

I adore Wendell Berry, but I don't think I'd read this one.