Monday, April 28, 2014

national poetry month, day twenty-eight: w. s. merwin

A Calling

My father is telling me the story of Samuel
not for the first time and yet he is not quite repeating
nor rehearsing nor insisting he goes on telling me
in the empty green church smelling of carpet and late dust
where he calls to mind words of the prophets to mumble in a remote language
and the prophets are quoting the Lord who is someone they know
who has been talking to them my father tells what the Lord
said to them and Samuel listened and heard someone calling someone
and Samuel answered Here I am and my father is saying
that is the answer that should be given he is telling me
that someone is calling and that is the right answer
he is telling me a story he wants me to believe
telling me the right answer and the way in which it was spoken
in that story he wants to believe in which someone is calling

Merwin, W. S. "A Calling". The Body Electric: America's Best Poetry from The American Poetry Review. Berg, Stephen, David Bonanno and Arthur Vogelsang, Eds. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2000. 441.