“The Magic Mountain” by William Stafford

A book opens. People come out, bend
this way and talk, ponder, love, wander around
while pages turn. Where did the plot go?
Why did someone sing just as the train
went by? Here come chapters with landscape all over
whatever happens when people meet. Now
a quiet part: a hospital glows in the dark.
I don’t think that woman with the sad gray eyes
will ever come back. And what does it mean when
the Italian has so many ideas? Maybe
a war is coming. The book is ending. Everyone
has a little tremolo in them; all
are going to die and it’s cold and the snow, and the
clear air. They took someone away. It’s ending,
the book is ending. But I thought – never mind. It

– William Stafford, The Way It Is

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