Mark Strand, “Lines For Winter”

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Tell yourself

as it gets cold and gray falls from the air

that you will go on

walking, hearing

the same tune no matter where

you find yourself—

inside the dome of dark

or under the cracking white

of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.

Tonight as it gets cold

tell yourself

what you know which is nothing

but the tune your bones play

as you keep going. And you will be able

for once to lie down under the small fire

of winter stars.

And if it happens that you cannot

go on or turn back

and you find yourself

where you will be at the end,

tell yourself

in that final flowing of cold through your limbs

that you love what you are.

 

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