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Philip Levine - Everything

Lately the wind burns 
the last leaves and evening 
comes too late to be 
of use, lately I learned 
that the year has turned 
its face to winter 
and nothing I say or do 
can change anything. 
So I sleep late and waken 
long after the sun has risen 
in an empty house and walk 
the dusty halls or sit 
and listen to the wind 
creak in the eaves and struts 
of this old house. I say 
tomorrow will be different 
but I know it won't. 
I know the days are shortening 
and when the sun pools 
at my feet I can reach 
into that magic circle 
and not be burned. So 
I take the few things 
that matter, my book, 
my glasses, my father's ring, 
my brush, and put them aside 
in a brown sack and wait -- 
someone is coming for me. 
A voice I've never heard 
will speak my name 
or a face press to the window 
as mine once pressed 
when the world held me out. 
I had to see what it was 
it loved so much. Nothing 
had time to show me 
how a leaf spun itself 
from water or water cried 
itself to sleep for 
every human thirst. Now 
I must wait and be still 
and say nothing I don't know, 
nothing I haven't lived 
over and over, 
and that's everything.

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Poet: Philip Levine
Poem: Everything
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