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To the Choirmaster

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Art thou not from everlasting,
     O Lord my God, my Holy One?
           We shall not die.

The rock lives in the desert, solid, taking its time.
The wave lives for an instant, stable in momentum
at the edge of the sea, before it folds away.
Everything that is, lives and has size.
The mole sleeps in a hole of its making,
and the hole also lives; absence is not nothing.
It didn’t desire to be, but now it breathes
and makes a place, for the comfort of the mole.
I am a space taken, and my absence will be shapely
and of a certain age, in the everlasting.
In the fierce evening, on the mild day,
How long shall I be shaken?

(Habakkuk)


Source: Poetry (June 2010)

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

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To the Choirmaster

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