The Net

Into this net of leaves, green as old glass   
That the sun fondles, trembling like images

In water, this live net, swung overhead
From branch to branch, what swam? The spider’s thread

Is less passive, where it appears to float
Like a bright hair clinging to the wind’s coat.

Hot at work, history neither schemes nor grieves   
Here where the soaking dead are last year’s leaves,

And over them slung, meshed with sun, a net   
No creature wove, none frantically tried to fret.

The huge weight of time without its sting   
Hangs in that greenly cradling woof. A wing

Has caught there, held. Held. But not to stay,   
We know, who, how slowly, walk away.

Babette Deutsch, "The Net" from The Collected Poems of Babette Deutsch, published by Doubleday. Copyright © 1969 by Babette Deutsch.  Reprinted by permission of Estate of Babette Deutsch.
Source: The Collected Poems of Babette Deutsch (Random House Inc., 1969)
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