William Carlos Williams

Approach to a City

Getting through with the world —
I never tire of the mystery
of these streets: the three baskets
of dried flowers in the high

barroom window, the gulls wheeling
above the factory, the dirty
snow — the humility of the snow that
silvers everything and is

trampled and lined with use — yet
falls again, the silent birds
on the still wires of the sky, the blur
of wings as they take off

together. The flags in the heavy 
air move against a leaden
ground — the snow
pencilled with the stubble of old

weeds: I never tire of these sights
but refresh myself there
always for there is small holiness
to be found in braver things.

spoken = Leon Branton