We follow the dead their graves,

and our long love follows on

beyond, crying to them not

“Come back!” but merely “Wait!”

In waking thoughts, in dreams

we follow after calling, “Wait!

Listen! I am older now. I know

now how it was with you

when you were old and I

was only young. I am ready

now to accompany you

in your lonely fear.” And they

go on, one by one, as one

by one we go as they have gone.


And yet we all are gathered

in this leftover love,

this longing become the measure

of a joy all mourners know.

An old man’s mind is a graveyard

where the dead arise.

—Wendell Berry, in Given


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