Up the west slope before dark
shadow of my smoke
climbing the old men’s mountain
at the end
birds lead something down to me
it is silence
they leave it with me
in the dark
it is from them
that I am descended
— W.S. Merwin, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Carrier of Ladders, also found in The Second Four Book of Poems (Copper Canyon Press). Copyright © 1971 by W. S. Merwin. Used by permission of the publishers.
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