Robert Bly

Sand Heaps

Last night we took off our wolf skins, and danced 
For hours, stomping our feet on the old rug. We were 
Sand heaps breaking up in someone else’s hands.

It was when we sang the same four bars over 
And over that we gradually went mad  
On one precious foot that was never put down.

We couldn’t tell for a while where the door was 
Or where the corners were. We didn’t know if it was 
Our crying or someone else’s that filled the room.

What good will all this dancing do for anyone? 
Oh, it’s nothing; it will never do any good. 
It’s as precious as a hundred hours of prayer.

We have no idea why our bodies are jumping 
Up and down, nor why our throats are full of sound. 
All our years of everything have come to nothing.

We couldn’t tell where the walls and floor were. 
We lost all our certainty as we danced in the heat. 
All our years of everything have come to this.