Contents | June 2002

More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.

Also by W. S. Merwin:
Term (1999)
Any Time (1999)
Unknown Bird (1999)
Before the Flood (1998)
Shore Birds (1998)
The Atlantic Monthly | June 2002
To My Teeth

by W.S. Merwin
So the companions
of Ulysses those that were
still with him after
the nights in the horse the sea lanes
the other islands the friends
lost one by one in pain
and the coming home one
bare day to a later
age that was their own
but with their scars now upon them
and now darkened and worn and some
broken beyond recognition
and still missing the ones
taken away from beside them
who had grown up with them
and served long without question
wanting nothing else

sat around in the old places
across from the hollows
reminding themselves
that they were the lucky ones
together where they belonged

but would he stay there

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W. S. Merwin is the author of more than forty works of poetry, translation, and nonfiction. His most recent collection of poems is The Pupil (2001).

Copyright © 2002 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; June 2002; To My Teeth; Volume 289, No. 6; 53.