I couldn't tell one song from another,
which bird said what or to whom or for what reason.
The oak tree seemed to be writing something using very few words.
I couldn't decide which door to open--they looked the same, or what
would happen when I did reach out and turn a knob. I thought I was safe,
but my death remembered its date:
only so many summer nights still stood before me, full moon, waning moon,
October mornings: what to make of them? which door?
I couldn't tell which stars were which or how far away any one of them was,
or which were still burning or not--their light moving through space like a
late train--and I've lived on this earth so long--50 winters, 50 springs and
and all this time stars in the sky--in daylight
when I couldn't see them, and at night when, most nights, I didn't look.
- Marie Howe, from The Kingdom of Ordinary Time