The Sun

by David Whyte

This morning on the desk,
facing up,
a poem of Kavenagh’s
celebrating a lost love.

“She was the sun,” he said,
lives in the fibre
of his arms,
her warmth
through all the years
folding the old man’s hand
in hers
of a Sunday
Dublin morning.

Sometimes reading
Kavenagh I look out
at everything
growing so wild
and faithfully beneath
the sky
and wonder
why we are the one
terrible
part of creation
privileged
to refuse our flowing.

I know
in the text of the heart
the flower is our death
and the first opening
of the new life
we have yet to imagine,

but Kavenagh’s line
reminds me
how I want to know
that sun,
and how I want to flower
and how I want to claim
my happiness
and how I want to walk
through life
amazed and inarticulate
with thanks.

And how I want to
know that warmth
through
love itself,
and
through the sun itself.

I want to know
that sun
of happiness
when I wake
and see through
my window
the morning color
on the far mountain.

I want to know
when I lean down to the lilies
by the water
and feel their small and
perfect reflection
on my face.

I want to know
that gift
when I walk
innocent through the trees
burning with life
and the green
passion
of the pasture’s
first growth,

and I want to know
as lazily
as the cows
that tear at the grass
with their
soft mouths.

I want to know
what I am
and what I am
involved with by loving
this world
as I do.

And I want time
to think of all
the unlived lives:

those that fail to notice
until it is too late,

those with eyes staring
with bitterness,

and those
met on the deathbed
whose mouths are wide
with
unspoken love.

Every year
they keep me faithful
and help me
realize there is more
to lose
than I thought
and more at stake
than I could dream.