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Published: Mon Oct 15 1979
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
Now the Sturdy Wind

Now the sturdy wind is, more than ever, useful. It pulls
each reluctant hem of greenery from what it has got stuck on: air,
the blue between
the branches.

Leaves would otherwise remain, it seems, like so much currency,
out of date, still clinging to
a value presumed absolute.
Everything goes.

Everything goes in this wind, turning and twisting, seeking
in every seed
to be windborne, reborn,
in every leaf and stem and runner and the very smallest

flared buds off the lilacs.
And yet the weeds, what an example they set here, where
_         _salvation is
to be released forever from
this thickest world—healall and speedwell,

devil’s trumpet and deadnettle—how they return
always to the same, the one, adventure.
Can we say we really wish for more?
The wind’s digression is

a magnificent outing, but all arguments cannot subscribe to it.
Some, like these deep-seeded weeds
stand very still
and wish for us to do the same-a present tense at the heart
_         _of the wind

in which we are
ready to go where everything goes and yet forever suddenly
_         _distracted by
the beneficial undershoots of cattails,
the asters the songbirds need.

See what's inside AGNI 10 and 11

Jorie Graham won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1996 for her collection _The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems from 1974–_1994. She is currently the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University. (updated 6/2010)

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