Today's poem is by Al Maginnes

The Edge of the Field

It was not so hard believing in the end
as long as it remained abstraction,
shadow the wind dragged through
waist-high grass, a passage like the wave
some philosophers say our lives are,
a body stirred from nothing
to brief crescendo, then dropped
into nothing once more. Each one of us
will take our turn crossing that field,
far from the lights of cities, nameless
under nameless stars. Alone
in that emptiness, the small gears
of civilization dither and lock,
and the older, larger gears, the ones
ever-turning and ever-silent, let themselves
be heard for a moment, long enough
to let us know the shadow
on the edge of the field is no mirage.
But we are not the wind. We have
a choice which direction we take.
You have to stand in that field
long enough to realize there is
a choice. You can turn and run,
but the edge of the field grows wider,
claims more of your life's real estate.
You can walk into the shadow
early, singing a song whose words
you forget as they leave your tongue
and believe it is courage, not fear,
marching you forward. Or you can turn,
leave the field deliberately,
the great notes of the gears you heard
still grinding, song you will keep yourself
from swaying to as you turn
from the dark to find a place
that sells coffee paled with milk,
where you can sit in soft light and read
the day's temporary news, small matters
made important by their power to suspend
the soft insistence of the wind
that urges you to the edge
of the field and the silence
waiting there, deeper than music.

Copyright © 2012 Al Maginnes All rights reserved
from Asheville Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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