Thursday, September 24, 2020

Waking with Russell by Don Paterson

Waking with Russell                                               

Whatever the difference is, it all began 
the day we woke up face-to-face like lovers 
and his four-day-old smile dawned on him again, 
possessed him, till it would not fall or waver; 
and I pitched back not my old hard-pressed grin 
but his own smile, or one I'd rediscovered. 
Dear son, I was mezzo del cammin 
and the true path was as lost to me as ever 
when you cut in front and lit it as you ran. 
See how the true gift never leaves the giver: 
returned and redelivered, it rolled on 
until the smile poured through us like a river.
How fine, I thought, this waking amongst men! 
I kissed your mouth and pledged myself forever. 

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