Matins* (2)



Louise Gluck is a talented American poet. This poem has been adapted for ESL students.

*kneel: to be on your knees.  *pretend: to act like you’re doing something you’re not really doing.  *weed: to pull up wild plants.  *four-leaf clover: sign of good luck  *continue: keep going

*matins means both a morning prayer and the morning song of birds

You want to know how I spend my time?
I kneel* on the grass, pretending*
to be weeding*.
You should really know 
I am never weeding, on my knees, pulling up
handfuls of clover from the flower garden: in fact
I am looking for courage, for some sign
my life will change—though
it takes forever, checking 
each handful for the symbolic 
leaf *, and soon the summer is ending. Already
the leaves are turning; always the weak trees
lose their leaves first, the dying leaves turning
brilliant yellow, while a few dark birds sing
their morning songs.
You want to see my hands?
As empty now as at the first [when I began].

Or was the point always 
to continue* without a sign?

                                                          —Louise Gluck

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