To the Light of September: A Poem by W. S. Merwin

“When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not

and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground

but they all know
that you have come
the seed heads of the sage
the whispering birds
with nowhere to hide you
to keep you for later

who fly with them

you who are neither
before nor after
you who arrive
with blue plums
that have fallen through the night

perfect in the dew”

For reflection in solitude or in the company of others: Merwin invites readers to experience September as a time of “now and not yet” (a phrase which also describes our experience of the Reign of God). As September deepens, what previously hidden truths about your relationship with God are becoming more clear?

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