As old medallions to the thumb,
Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown--
A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.
Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,
Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves.
Memory by memory the mind--
A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs.
For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf.
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea--
A poem should not mean
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