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The Garden

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for Robert Penn Warren

It shines in the garden,
in the white foliage of the chestnut tree,   
in the brim of my father’s hat
as he walks on the gravel.

In the garden suspended in time   
my mother sits in a redwood chair:   
light fills the sky,
the folds of her dress,
the roses tangled beside her.

And when my father bends
to whisper in her ear,
when they rise to leave
and the swallows dart
and the moon and stars
have drifted off together, it shines.

Even as you lean over this page,   
late and alone, it shines: even now   
in the moment before it disappears.

Mark Strand, “The Garden” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1979, 1980 by Mark Strand. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Source: Selected Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1990)
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The Garden

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