After Working

by Robert Bly
from Silence in the Snowy Fields, 1962

After many strange thoughts,
Thoughts of distant harbors, and new life,
I came in and found the moonlight lying in the room.

Outside it covers the trees like pure sound,
The sound of tower bells, or of water moving under the ice,
The sound of the deaf hearing through the bones of their heads.

We know the road; as the moonlight
Lifts everything, so in a night like this
The road goes on ahead, it is all clear.

I’ve been wondering why I am drawn to passages about night. This poem helps me understand. Night comes after working. My days of work do indeed contain many strange thoughts. At night, when the kids are asleep, there is something like moonlight that clears away the strangeness and allows me to see the road ahead.


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