The Layers

I have walked through many lives,

some of them my own,

and i am not who I was,

though some principle of being

abides, from which I struggle

not to stray.

When I look behind,

as I am compelled to look

before i can gather strength

to proceed on my journey,

I see the milestones dwindling

toward the horizon

and the slow fires trailing

from abandoned camp-sites,

over which scavenger angels

wheel on heavy wings…

Stanley Kunitz

 

Stanley Kunitz is one of America’s greatest poets. He is a recipient of both the Pulitzer and Bolllinger prizes. President Clinton presented Mr. Kunitz with the National Medal of the Arts in 1993.