The Walk

A conversation with Theodore Roethke’s “The Waking”

Seated Man Turned Towards the Left Seen from Below, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (CC0 1.0)

Each day I wake to one less day
And fight the worm that fact is fate.
I take a step and yearn to stay.

Why look back when apples fall?
The tree is wood for coffins made.
Each day is sleep for one less day.

I feel the cold wind gray the day
So bless the ground and fight the fade.
I take a step and learn to stay.

Why stand beneath the tree’s shade?
See beyond the forested maze
And wake the day though less one day.

Nature has more in play,
Light to seize the dark at bay.
I’ll take a step and work to stay.

I walk steady to pace the wait.
What came far is near to pass.
Each day I wake to one less day.
I take a step and fight to stay.