Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® Philadelphia

Those Who Come After (excerpt)

Eleanor Wilner

But when they say of us
what we have done, perhaps they will speak
kindly of those who, near the century's
end, pried open the hand;
of the way the wind lifted the lovely
gray spirals of ash, until our hands
were empty as a cloudless sky,
empty as altars whose offerings
had been acceptable; perhaps they will
say that there were those
who took down the harps
hung in the sorrowing trees, having lost
the taste for conquest or revenge,
and made a song
that rose in the air
as smoke rises—

* * *

"Those Who Come After" (excerpt) from Otherwise by Eleanor Wilner. Copyright © 1993. Reprinted with the permission of the author.


Back to Philadelphia