Friday, October 11, 2013

Ellen Bass: "The World Has Need of You"

everything here seems to need us…

I can hardly imagine it
as I walk to the lighthouse, feeling the ancient
prayer of my arms swinging
in counterpoint to my feet.
Here I am, suspended
between the sidewalk and twilight,
the sky dimming so fast it seems alive.
What if you felt the invisible
tug between you and everything?
A boy on a bicycle rides by,
his white shirt open, flaring
behind him like wings.
It’s a hard time to be human. We know too much
and too little. Does the breeze need us?
The cliffs? The gulls?
If you’ve managed to do one good thing,
the ocean doesn’t care.
But when Newton’s apple fell toward the earth,
the earth, ever so slightly, fell
toward the apple as well.

"The World Has Need of You" by Ellen Bass. Published in American Poetry Review (March/April 2011).  

Photography credit: "Walking Toward the Lighthouse / Camminando verso il Faro," by Claudia Dal Ceredo, 2006 (originally black and white).

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