In the Fullness of Time
Time, the hermit thinks, is always full.
Unlike the moon, it does not wax and wane,
But incubates the future endlessly.
It fares forth daily, with its pregnant waddle,
Plods the same road, points the same direction,
Never arrives or labors, or else incessantly
Arrives, every second is giving birth.
The hermit wonders how to understand
This strange phrase from the Gospel writer’s hand.
He thinks: Does time itself in time bring forth
Eternity, to intervene in time? –
His head hurts now. The candle’s burning low
And won’t restore itself. Outside, new snow
Shines. The moon, unveiled, is full in time.
These autumn afternoons, black thundershowers
Break above the ridge, to rinse the dust
From the slanting light. The last pale tattered coneflowers
Mourn at the hermit’s door. Before first frost,
The rain makes everything intense with life.
Today he sees a doe and half-grown fawn
Browsing his ruined garden. In one brief
Glimpse the world holds still. They dapple and darken
On his vision, are more present to him than his skin.
His heart’s lost to them. Charged, electric,
The world’s more real than human minds imagine.
Its pure unseen intelligences shock
Him into knowing more than he can know.
The deer depart. He does not see them go.