Tuesday Poem

Become Becoming
.
Wait for evening.
Then you’ll be alone.
.
Wait for the playground to empty.
Then call out those companions from childhood:
.
The one who closed his eyes
and pretended to be invisible.
The one to whom you told every secret.
The one who made a world of any hiding place.
.
And don’t forget the one who listened in silence
while you wondered out loud:
.
Is the universe an empty mirror? A flowering tree?
Is the universe the sleep of a woman?
.
Wait for the sky’s last blue
(the color of your homesickness).
Then you’ll know the answer.
.
Wait for the air’s first old (that color of Amen).
Then you’ll spy the wind’ barefoot steps.
.
Then you’ll recall that story beginning
with a child who strays in the woods.
.
The search for him goes on in the growing
shadow of the clock.
.
And the face behind the clock’s face
is not his father’s face.
.
And the hands behind the clock’s hands
are not his mother’s hands.
.
All of Time began when you first answered
to the names your mother and father gave you.
.
Soon, those names will travel with the leaves.
Then, you can trade places with the wind.
.
Then you’ll remember your life
as a book of candles,
each page read by the light of its own burning.
.
.
by Li-Young Lee
from Behind My Eyes
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