The Still Time

The Still Time

I know there is still time –
time for the hands
to open,
to be filled
by those failed harvests of want,
the imagined bread of the days of not having.

I remember those summer nights
when I was young and empty,
when I lay through the darkness
wanting, wanting,
I would have nothing if anything I wanted –
that total craving
that hollows the heart out irreversibly.

So it surprises me now to hear
the steps of my life following me –
so much of it gone
it returns, everything that drove me crazy
comes back, blessing the misery
of each step it took me into the world;
as though a prayer had ended
and the changed
air between the palms goes free
to become the glitter
on some common thing that inexplicably shines.

And the old voices,
which once made its broken-off, choked, parrot-incoherences,
speak again,
this time on the palatum cordis
saying there is still time,
for those who can groan
to sing,
for those who can sing to be healed.

– Galway Kinnell from Mortal Acts, Mortal Words


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