Spiderwebs on the casement,
the wardrobe is ancient too,
fading curtains, peeling chairs,
nothing you own is new.
Didn’t you wish, my sister,
with a glance at time vanishing,
my poems might set in meter
“the grace of some fading thing?”
New objects displease us
and scare us with their cries;
their need to be worn out
taxes our energies.
Come close that German almanac,
the days it proclaims are dead.
Lie down on the threadbare carpet,
calm child, pillow my head
on your knees in that faded gown
and I will talk on and on
of old clocks and cracked furniture
till the fields and streets are gone
under the cold of night.
Are your thoughts wandering?
On top of the casement
spiderwebs are shivering.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 4 Number 7, on page 40
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