Great Pine

by Mark Halliday

The great pine at the far end of the yard

is still there tall and waving mildly three ways

in ambivalent April breezes

just as it was

an hour ago before I sat down to be studious

about the different romanticisms of Shelley and Keats

as regards the attractiveness of the eternal Absolute

and my brain eddied into lost brackish sidemarshes

until indeed I was asleep, misusing my life

as I have so much misused my life being a fool

unable to TAKE IN the fact that today is

departing forever and yet as if no punishment for this

has been scheduled in the rhythm of things

the great pine out there waves mildly

no less encouraging than an hour ago!

Mark Halliday is a Guggenheim Fellow and esteemed professor of English at Ohio University and has a deep publishing history.