Evening Poetry, August 28

Twilight: After Haying

by Jane Kenyon

Yes, long shadows go out

from the bales; and yes, the soul

must part from the body:

what else could it do?

The men sprawl near the baler,

too tired to leave the field.

They talk and smoke,

and the tips of their cigarettes

blaze like small roses

in the night air. (It arrived

and settled among them

before they were aware.)

The moon comes

to count the bales,

and the dispossessed–

Whip-poor-will, Whip-poor-will

–sings from the dusty stubble.

These things happen. . .the soul’s bliss

and suffering are bound together

like the grasses. . .

The last, sweet exhalations

of timothy and vetch

go out with the song of the bird;

the ravaged field

grows wet with dew.

You can find this in Collected Poems.