“Portrait of a figure near water” by Jane Kenyon

Rebuked, she turned and ran
uphill to the barn. Anger, the inner
arsonist, held a match to her brain.
She observed her life: against her will
it survived the unwavering flame.

xxx

The barn was empty of animals.
Only a swallow tilted
near the beams, and bats
hung from the rafters
the roof sagged between.

xxx

Her breath became steady
where, years past, the farmer cooled
the big tin amphoræ of milk.
The stone trough was still
filled with water: she watched it
and received its calm.

xxx

So it is when we retreat in anger:
we think we burn alone
and there is no balm.
Then water enters, though it makes
no sound.

xxx

Jane Kenyon, “Portrait of a Figure Near Water” from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by the Estate of Jane Kenyon.

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1 Response to “Portrait of a figure near water” by Jane Kenyon

  1. Jerome Bloom says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…………..

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