Heaven and Earth

“Rebirth by Shari Silvey

Heaven and Earth

She makes the willow shiver in the sun.

Wallace Stevens, “Sunday Morning”

Up there, the sweet plain girls would possess
the incandescent beauty of immortality,
removed from the stress of status,
smiling, gliding, singing,
free at last to be above it all.

But let’s face it. Wallace Stevens had it right.
Mystical death is the mother of beauty.
Our non-sentient bodies must feed the root
of willows bending over our forgotten flesh,
now boughs where birds nest and trill and feed their hatchlings.