They Sit Together on the Porch

By Wendell Berry b. 1934 Wendell Berry
They sit together on the porch, the dark
Almost fallen, the house behind them dark.
Their supper done with, they have washed and dried
The dishes–only two plates now, two glasses,
Two knives, two forks, two spoons–small work for two.
She sits with her hands folded in her lap,
At rest. He smokes his pipe. They do not speak,
And when they speak at last it is to say
What each one knows the other knows. They have
One mind between them, now, that finally
For all its knowing will not exactly know
Which one goes first through the dark doorway, bidding
Goodnight, and which sits on a while alone.

From "A Timbered Choir", by Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group (www.perseusbooks.com). All rights reserved.

Source: A Timbered Choir (Counterpoint Press, 1998)

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Poet Wendell Berry b. 1934

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Men & Women, Living, Relationships, Home Life, Growing Old

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

 Wendell  Berry

Biography

Poet, novelist, and environmentalist Wendell Berry lives on a farm in Port Royal, Kentucky near his birthplace, where he has maintained a farm for over 40 years. Mistrustful of technology, he holds deep reverence for the land and is a staunch defender of agrarian values. He is the author of over 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays. His poetry celebrates the holiness of life and everyday miracles often taken for granted.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Men & Women, Living, Relationships, Home Life, Growing Old

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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