Of Being Numerous, 12

'In these explanations it is presumed that an experiencing
subject is one occasion of a sensitive reaction to an actual

the rain falls
that had not been falling
and it is the same world

.     .     .

They made small objects
Of wood and the bones of fish
And of stone. They talked, 
Families talked.
They gathered in council
And spoke, carrying objects.
They were credulous,
Their things shone in the forest.

They were patient
With the world.
This will never return, never,
Unless having reached their limits

They will begin over, that is,
Over and over

From New Collected Poems. Copyright © 2002 by Linda Oppen. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.