Today's poem is by Phillis Levin

Open Field

Forget the comma, the crow said, darting
onto another branch, random joy being his,

being mine, being yours, depending on how
you look at a branch, which is, after all,

something essential for him, for you, for me,
his wings no more no less than the wings

of his fellow travelers, his curious, forlorn
pecking at what—a pecking for what is new.

And isn't that what we want, to be taken
out of a sentence into the air, where conversation

blossoms into speechlessness, the bosom
of belonging, being in rather than on, in being here.

But the comma said, how dare you abandon
the curl that tells how distinctly different

one iota is from another, lifting a note a little
higher or lower, casting a shadow over whatever

may follow, or making a sudden clearing
for the future, letting it tremble, hesitate, sing,

announcing how each thing depends on another,
touching, resting, going on, dying and ferreting

too, yes, that too, did you think it impossible to do
another thing after arriving, did you forget the

moment awakening after a dark dry dot,
that jab of ending, a minuscule well sounding

no less no more than a drop of the sap
asleep in winter trees, did you believe for a split

second you could breeze on by or pass
such a point without calling out to its source?

O, said the crow,
but didn't you know:

am a drop

of the bottomless well,
you are a mark in the snow.

Copyright © 2007 Phillis Levin All rights reserved
from May Day
Penguin Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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