Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Give me, I thought, a stand of tilted pines
guarding white water hurtling into mist.
Give me a steep-cut torrent over stones,
trout-bright, clear and fast. 

Or better, I wished, give me the reckless reach
of a winter sea, heaved by moon and wind,
salt-sweet mayhem roaring across a beach’s
apron of frosted sand.

But that was long ago. Instead, these plains
remained my home, their waters slow and deep
and muddy, their gritty wind pockmarking plans,
fraying our early hopes.

None of that matters, for in you I have found,
across the decades, water deep and still
enough to fill me, and shelter from the wind
such as makes wind worthwhile.

—Jane Greer