swerve in the light


An Almost
David Whyte

An almost,
a something
just beyond me,
a swerve in the light,
and a passing blur
like a peregrine
from a cliff edge,
sometimes a darkness,
a pushing away,
a not wanting,
often a digging in,
a head down
concentration working
against a coal face
of nothing,
a breathing close
and at the same time
a fight for breath.

Many times, a someone
I do not recognize,
a wondering if,
a hand in mine,
pulling me on,
above all, an invitation,
and always in the end
a lovely and difficult surprise,
like silk torn in two,
a rested view from
a high window,
passion followed
by real love,
and like love,
an edge and then
the willingness
for the necessary
but as yet

Always a death,
the passing by
of a grave
on the way
to somewhere else,
my hat dipping
slowly in calm respect,
above the grave
yes, happy birdsong,
then not birdsong,
an annunciation
not quite heard,
a frontier
deep in the chest;
most of all,
being called
a sense of great migration
a needing to leave,
a wanting to cross.

Then, that good day,
standing on the threshold
between this world
and the next,
like the crest of a pass,
and the path
going over, through cloud,
about to descend
to the promised land,
the flurry of wind telling me
I’m about to free myself
of an upward way,
my vision a notch in the sky
opening wide,
and above the lark song
filling the living, breathing world,
with its own anticipation,
its own way looking back
at me, and through me,
and like me, always
found in a new light,
always ready to be
wanted again.

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