“Purity,” the new novel by Jonathan Franzen, is the topic
I go to the ocean to learn
the endless dance of give and take,
the fierce pushing and pulling against myself,
over the years, in order to shape
the shore I stand on
and that supports all
the unknown depths in me.
I go to the open fields to learn
to have no echo and
empty myself of all need;
to accept the flood
from winter runoff
and to let what is wild grow
alongside what is farmed.
I go to the trees to learn
to stand tall in all seasons;
to wear the winter with dignity
and bear the summer with patience;
to shade the weary
without becoming weary myself
and to ripen the fruit of my labor
before picking it.