A sestina for Easter Sunday
How completely confused is history.
To me it seems to keep clear of the answers,
Always like leaves blown away by the questions
Until they stop before the utmost riddle,
That baffling labyrinth, the whorl of time,
Which sheds its petals like the garden rose.
The thing I want to say is this — Christ rose
From the dead, therefore what can history
Say of this, what can that house owner, time,
Say to policemen who ask for the answers
To incidents within his house, the riddle
That clarifies and solves rather than questions?
I was about to ask you certain questions
When a wind blew from the west, the moon rose
Above the trees, and like an ancient riddle
The growing night fell in with history,
Which you remarked on by way of your answers
To what you call the enigma of time.
Someone played the piano at one time.
The music widened both our ears, like questions,
And its arpeggios offered all the answers
As bells above the waves that fell and rose.
Who was she, what was her history?
How could so clear as music be a riddle?
Life, than which there can be no greater riddle,
The beginning and end of it, which time
Unrolls and severs, in whose history,
Its sunsets and sunrises, live the questions,
Is what we have, the one mysterious rose
That seeks to grow towards the source of answers.
The growth of restlessness towards the answers,
The heart to put at rest the endless riddle
Of pain, of death, for which the one who rose
From the dead has sought to redeem with time,
And then there will not be any more questions,
An angel to heal the wounds of history.
Knowledge and history might have the answers,
For some, but not all questions, like this riddle—
Time is the thorn, eternity the rose.
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