The End Stopped Line

amywink January 21st, 2019

The End Stopped Line

Listening to Mary Oliver
talk of writing “Wild Geese”
which she says
was an exercise
in the end stopped line,
the kind of poem that
ends each line with
punctuation made to
give the reader pause,
a statement of some kind
in itself, even as the poem
continues beyond that line,
even beyond its end,
resounding in each reader

And suddenly I am writing
and thinking of the end stop
of her life, the statement that
ends and continues the poem
of her life beyond
the punctuated ending
into the poem that I am writing.

And I think of the lines
we say to end our inquiry,
to stay our curiosity,
so we do not go beyond
what we already know,
down some rabbit hole
because we prefer certainty,
afraid of knowing what
we do not know.
“This did not happen.”
“That was unheard of.”
“How do we even know
what’s true?”

until the poem continues,
in someone else’s voice,
“Here is what also happened.”
“Here is what was untold.”

Here is how we discover the
deeper truth.

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