Robert Bly

In Rainy September

In rainy September when leaves grow down into the dark
I put my forehead down to the damp, seaweed-smelling sand.
The time has come. I have put off choosing for years,
Perhaps whole lives. The fern has no choice but to live;
for this crime it receives earth, water, and night.

We close the door. "I have no claim on you.” Dusk 
Comes. You say, “The love I had with you is enough.”
We know we could live apart from one another.
The sheldrake floats apart from the flock.
The oak tree puts out leaves alone on the lonely hillside.

Men and women before us have accomplished this.
I would see you, and you me, once a year.
We would be two kernels, and not be planted.
We stay in the room, door closed, lights out.
I weep with you without shame and without honor.