Psalm 24

by Patrice de La Tour du Pin

I’ve always felt something like a weight just beneath my awareness—
whenever I want to dance, I can feel it.

It lowers me not only to the ground but deep
into an earth-sized secret—where I have a field.

How I love to lie down in this field—in myself:
myself in hiding, then disappearing.

Into a night vaster than my own,
sinking into it like a miniscule seed.

Everything can start over, I tell the Lord,
for there, I speak to God in familiar terms.

How to grow and how to increase be relearned—
the grace of your gravity presses me to discover.

A secret heavier than my own weighs upon me,
it seeps out of my soil, I can’t keep it.

From utter darkness a glimmering begins,
the kind of glimmer your daylight will later contain.

No one could count me among the visionaries!
Nothing in this dimness allows itself to be seen.

I make my poems the way an ash tree makes leaves—
not light, that’s not for an ash tree to do.

Before you take me back entirely, Lord, I ask you kindly:
dapple light upon my leaves.

Translated from the French by Jennifer Grotz

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