Geese, Tree, Apple, Leaves
Every angel is terrifying.
by Jeanne Murray Walker
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Suppose you're blind, and so you can't see
the broken necklace of geese sailing the sky,
then tilt up your face and listen as their honking riles
the air. And if somehow you're going deaf as well,
the cries of geese receding on the wind,
then lay your hand on bark to feel the wind
that sways the apple tree. Or if you can't feel
the tree, then pick and eat one perfect apple
or failing that, as air gets out its knives
smell the fall, swift falling in the leaves.
But oh, if all is growing dark, the darkness
swallowing up the tree, its apples, leaves, and geese,
and if you think a hawk is circling in the final
autumn air, then let the splendid angel
come, my friend, to read your rights to you,
quicksilver angel, angel of snow, the lover who
has waited all your life at your elbow.