The Poem

Arriving at last

It has stumbled across the harsh
Stones, the black marshes.

True to itself, by what craft
And strength it has, it has come
As a sole survivor returns

From the steep pass.
Carved on memory's staff
The legend is nearly decipherable.
It has lived up to its vows

If it endures
The journey through the dark places
To bear witness,
Casting its message
In a sort of singing.

From Beyond Silence: Selected Shorter Poems, 1948-2003 by Daniel Hoffman. Copyright © 2003 by Daniel Hoffman. Reproduced with permission of Louisiana State University Press. All rights reserved.