Wild Geese

Wendell Berry

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

Sponsored by the Friends of Read Wildlife Sanctuary

Wendell Berry, excerpt from “The Wild Geese” from New Collected Poems. Copyright © 1973 by Wendell Berry. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Counterpoint Press, counterpointpress.com.