And teach us mercy

One of my favorite poems. A little late, since it already feels like winter is on us:

Nearing the start of that mysterious last season
Which brings us to the close of the other four,
I’m somewhat afraid and I don’t know how to prepare
So I will praise you.

I will praise you for the glaze on the buttercups
And the pearly scent of wild fresh water
And the great cross-bow shapes of swans flying over
With that strong silken sound of wings
Which you gave them when you made them without voices.

And I will praise you for crickets.
On starry autumn nights
When the earth is cooling
Their misty diminutive music
Repeated over and over
In the very marrow of peace.

And I will praise you for crows calling from the tree-tops
Which was the speech of my first village,
And for the sparrow’s flash of song
Flinging to me in an instant
The joy of a child who woke
Each morning to the freedom
Of her mother’s unclouded love
And lived in it like a country.

And I praise you that from vacant lots
from only broken glass and candy wrappers
you raise up the blue chicory flowers.

Thank you for that secret praise
Which burns in every creature,
And I ask you to bring us to life
Out of every sort of death
And teach us mercy.

“Leavetaking,” Anne Porter