FOR THE DEPARTURE OF A STEPSON
You are going for a long time
and nobody knows what to expect
we are trying to learn
not to accompany gifts with advice
or to suppose that we can protect you
from being changed
by something that we do not know
but have always turned away from
even by the sea that we love
with its breaking
and the dissolving days
and the shadows on the wall
together we look at the young trees
we read the news we smell the morning
we cannot tell you what to take with you
in your light baggage
— W.S. Merwin, from his book The Rain in the Trees (Knopf). Copyright © 1987 by W. S. Merwin. Also found in Migration: New & Selected Poems (2005). Used by permission of the publishers, www.coppercanyonpress.org.
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Featured photo taken by Larry Cameron and used with permission. All rights reserved.