Louise Gluck




The Wild Iris

At the end of my suffering 
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death 
I remember.

Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting. 
Then nothing. The weak sun 
flickered over the dry surface.

It is terrible to survive 
as consciousness 
buried in the dark earth.

Then it was over: that which you fear, being 
a soul and unable 
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth 
bending a little. And what I took to be 
birds darting in low shrubs.

You who do not remember 
passage from the other world 
I tell you I could speak again: whatever 
returns from oblivion returns 
to find a voice:

from the center of my life came 
a great fountain, deep blue 
shadows on azure seawater.