Fall 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 4 Poetry |

Homecoming

Once only when the summer was nearly over and my own hair had been white as the days clouds for more years than I was counting I stood by the garden at evening Paula was still weeding around flowers that open after dark and I looked up to the clear sky and saw the new moon and at that moment from behind me a band of dark birds and then another after it flying in silence long curving wings hardly moving the plovers just in from the sea and the flight clear from Alaska half their weight gone to get them home but home now arriving without a sound as it rose to meet them

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W. S. Merwin was appointed United States Poet Laureate by the Librarian of Congress in July 2010. He lives, writes, and gardens in Hawaii, on the island of Maui. He has spent the last thirty years planting nineteen acres with over eight hundred species of palm, creating a sustainable forest. The property has recently been turned into a conservancy, the Merwin Conservancy.

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