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May Sarton - Leaves before the Wind

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Leaves before the Wind

We have walked, looked at the actual trees:
The chesnut leaves wide-open like a hand,
The beech leaves bronzing under every breeze,
We have felt flowing through our knees

As if we were the wind.

We have sat silent when two horses came,
Jangling their harness, to mow the long grass.
We have sat long and never found a name
For this suspension in the heart of flame

That does not pass.

We have said nothing; we have parted often,
Not looking back, as if departure took
An absolute of will--once not again
(But this is each day's feat, as when

The heart first shook).

Where fervor opens every instant so,
There is no instant that is not a curve,
And we are always coming as we go;
We lean toward the meeting that will show

Love's very nerve.

And so exposed (O leaves before the wind!)
We bear this flowing fire, forever free,
And learn through devious paths to find
The whole, the center, and perhaps unbind

The mystery

Where there are no roots, only fervent leaves,
Nourished on meditations and the air,
Where all that comes is also all that leaves,
And every hope compassionately lives

Close to despair.

- May Sarton

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