I see no patterns among the dark leaves lying in my back yard. They will be gone long before Orion or even me. But my thoughts now, those fly apart almost as soon as I become aware of them. They lack the endurance of leaves, let alone stars. I see no patterns in them, either. All I can do is let them flutter into the darkness with not even insects for company on these chilly winter nights. Perhaps they will come back someday and make sense, but for now they are like vague images in dreams that seem to almost mean something but never quite do. But rather than trouble about them, I lie on the leaves and watch the stars beyond the bare branches. There's Orion.
For the Sleepwalkers
by Edward Hirsch
Tonight I want to say something wonderful
for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
in their legs, so much faith in the invisible
arrow carved into the carpet, the worn path
that leads to the stairs instead of the window,
the gaping doorway instead of the seamless mirror.
I love the way that the sleepwalkers are willing
to step out of their bodies into the night,
to raise their arms and welcome the darkness,
palming the blank spaces, touching everything.
Always they return home safely, like blind men
who know it is morning by feeling shadows.
And always they wake up as themselves again.
That's why I want to say something astonishing
like: Our hearts are leaving our bodies.
Our hearts are thirsty black handkerchiefs
flying through the trees at night, soaking up
the darkest beams of moonlight, the music
of owls, the motion of wind-torn branches.
And now our hearts are thick black fists
flying back to the glove of our chests
We have to learn to trust our hearts like that.
We have to learn the desperate faith of sleep-
walkers who rise out of their calm beds
and walk through the skin of another life.
We have to drink the stupefying cup of darkness
and wake up to ourselves, nourished and surprised.