“…Wither is fled the visionary gleam?/ Where is it now, the glory and the dream?/ Though nothing can bring back the hour/ of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower,/ we will grieve not, rather find/ strength in what remains behind.”—William Wordsworth, “Ode to Intimations of Immortality”

    Here you are asking if something is left behind
    from those days and nights of heat and splendor.
    The nest under the springhouse eave, the errands
    to bring the birdling feed to gaping hungry beaks,
    is this all that remains? What will bring back glory
    to this arid field of clay? But it has never left you,
    not when you still cup your ears to the murmur
    of ebbtide, the trill of children running after kites
    blown wayward in the hills, or feel the quick flush
    on your face when you recall the warmth of nights
    we lay on our backs counting our canopy of stars
    knowing we could not but dared to recount them
    from inconstant starts and lost our count anyway.
    But that was once upon a time. It won’t come back.


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