Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard

East of me, west of me, full summer.
How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.
Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
                                        looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.

Day after day, I become of less use to myself.
Like this mockingbird,
                      I flit from one thing to the next.
What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?
Tomorrow is dark.
                 Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.

The sky dogs are whimpering.
Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
                                         up from the damp grass.
Into the world's tumult, into the chaos of every day,
Go quietly, quietly.

Credit


From Chickamauga, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Copyright © 1995 by Charles Wright. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Author


Charles Wright

Born in 1935, Charles Wright is the author of several books of poetry and has received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the Pulitzer Prize.

Date Published: 1995-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/after-reading-tu-fu-i-go-outside-dwarf-orchard