Today I am pulling on a green wool sweater and walking across the park in a dusky snowfall. The trees stand like twenty-seven prophets in a field, each a station in a pilgrimage—silent, pondering. Blue flakes of light falling across their bodies are the ciphers of a secret, an occultation. I will examine their leaves as pages in a text and consider the bookish pigeons, students of winter. I will kneel on the track of a vanquished squirrel and stare into a blank pond for the figure of Sophia. I shall begin scouring the sky for signs as if my whole future were constellated upon it. I will walk home alone with the deep alone, a disciple of shadows, in praise of the mysteries.
From Lay Back the Darkness by Edward Hirsch Copyright © 2003 by Edward Hirsch. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.