Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Remains

I empty myself of the names of others. I empty my pockets.
I empty my shoes and leave them beside the road
At night I turn back the clocks;
I open the family album and look at myself as a boy.

What good does it do? The hours have done their job.
I say my own name. I say goodbye.
The words follow each other downwind.
I love my wife but send her away.

My parents rise out of their thrones
into the milky rooms of clouds. How can I sing?
Time tells me what I am. I change and I am the same.
I empty myself of my life and my life remains.

Mark Strand


LKD said...

I've come back here to reread this poem many times.

It makes me so damned sad.

What good does it do?

That question haunts me.

Thanks for posting this, Maggie.

Maggie said...

I return to it so often.

Sad as it makes me feel, it says what I feel but have not written down. That last line. Oh my.

And, of course the line you posted, "What good does it do?"

Trying to sort through that can be taxing, so I've been leaving that question out a lot lately.