Gratitude for words

Living Things

by Anne Porter

Our poems
Are like the wart-hogs
In the zoo
It’s hard to say
Why there should be such creatures

But once our life gets into them
As sometimes happens
Our poems
Turn into living things
And there’s no arguing
With living things
They are
The way they are

Our poems
May be rough
Or delicate
Little
Or great

But always
They have inside them
A confluence of cries
And secret languages

And always
They are improvident
And free
They keep
A kind of Sabbath

“Living Things” by Anne Porter, from An Altogether Different Language. © Zoland Books, 1994. Reprinted with permission.

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