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Waking In March Analysis

Author: poem of Philip Levine Type: poem Views: 10

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Last night, again, I dreamed

my children were back at home,

small boys huddled in their separate beds,

and I went from one to the other

listening to their breathing -- regular,

almost soundless -- until a white light

hardened against the bedroom wall,

the light of Los Angeles burning south

of here, going at last as we

knew it would. I didn't waken.

Instead the four of us went out

into the front yard and the false dawn

that rose over the Tehachipis and stood

in our bare feet on the wet lawn

as the world shook like a burning house.

Each human voice reached us

without sound, a warm breath on the cheek,

a dry kiss.

                  Why am I so quiet?

This is the end of the world, I am dreaming

the end of the world, and I go from bed

to bed bowing to the small damp heads

of my sons in a bedroom that turns

slowly from darkness to fire. Everyone

else is gone, their last words

reach us in the language of light.

The great eucalyptus trees along the road

swim in the new wind pouring

like water over the mountains. Each day

this is what we waken to, a water

like wind bearing the voices of the world,

the generations of the unborn chanting

in the language of fire. This will be

tomorrow. Why am I so quiet?


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