Elementary Principles at Seventy-two

 

          When we consider the stars
(what else can we do with them?) and even
recognize among them sidereal

          father-figures (it was our
consideration that arranged them so),
they will always outshine us, for we change.

          When we behold the water
(which cannot be held, for it keeps turning
into itself), that is how we would move—

          but water overruns us.
And when we aspire to be clad in fire
(for who would not put on such apparel?)

          the flames only pass us by—
it is a way they have of passing through.
But earth is another matter. Ask earth

          to take us, the last mother—
one womb we may reassume. Yes indeed,
we can have the earth. Earth will have us.

 
 
—Richard Howard