Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEOPLE ARE, by KAREN SWENSON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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PEOPLE ARE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: We forget some things are only
Last Line: Degradable.
Subject(s): Mortality; Nature

We find ourselves in the middle of a movie, or, God help us, a
take for a
movie, and we don't know what's on the rest of the film.

Annie Dillard

We forget some things are only
a summary of their season.

Lilac buds swell with scent
pinch back to death each May
while buildings trellis blind
windows into the sun.

Above the lilac's odor
thick as taffy
the city rises
concrete against the sky
over this temporal perfume.

If it is not true that energy
is never more or less,

never destroyed or made,
always transplanted -
bloom to the blundering litter of autumn
and there is a slow leak of energy

a soft hiss
in the tire of the universe
and it is true that in each
metamorphosis a little more is lost,
that bloom becomes oblivion,
then no wonder we make pyramids
and no-deposit bottles

force the inorganic
into the pose of the organism -
every statue an attempt
at what we may never be

and we are only a series of framed moments
fugitive in the dark -
a Chaplin gesture dissolving
into the obdurate light -
as trapped in finity

we try to forget
people are

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