The West Wind

The West Wind

A weekly poem, read by the author.
June 20 2001 3:00 AM

The West Wind

When the winter wind
moves through the ash trees
in my yard I hear
the past years calling
in the pale voices
of the air. The words,
caught in the branches,
echo a moment
before they fade out.
The wind calms, the trees
go back to being
merely trees and not
seven messengers
from another world,
if that's what they were.
The alder, older,
harbors a few leaves
from last fall, black, curled,
a silent chorus
for all those we've left
behind. Suddenly
at my back I feel
a new wind come on,
chilling, relentless,
with all the power
of loss, the meaning
unmistakable.

 

Philip Levine's book of poems The Simple Truth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995.

  News & Politics
Politics
March 31 2015 5:00 AM How the Founder of the Fugees Became a Big-Time Political Donor Without Anyone Knowing The musical artist chose to fund a super PAC through opaque, legal, and increasingly popular means.
  Slate Plus
Lexicon Valley
March 31 2015 9:17 AM The Redline of March Overheard on email: Slates copy desk rounds up the month’s style and grammar rulings.