by Robert Bly
I don't know why so much sweetness hovers around us.
Nor why the wind blows the curtains in the afternoons,
Nor why the earth mutters so much about its children.
We'll never know why the snow falls through the night,
Nor how the heron stretches her long legs,
Nor why we feel so abandoned in the morning.
We have never understood how birds manage to fly,
Nor who the genius is who makes up dreams,
Nor how heaven and earth can appear in a poem.
We don't know why the rain falls so long.
The ditchdigger turns up one shovel after another.
The herons go on stitching the heavens together.
We've never heard about the day we were conceived
Nor the doctor who helped us to be born,
Nor that blind old man who decides when we will die.
It's hard to understand why the sun rises,
And why our children are mostly fond of us,
And why the wind blows the curtains in the afternoon.
"The Blind Old Man" by Robert Bly, from Talking Into the Ear of a Donkey. © W.W. Norton & Co., 2010.