Psalm By George Oppen

Veritas sequitur ...

In the small beauty of the forest
The wild deer bedding down—
That they are there!

                              Their eyes
Effortless, the soft lips
Nuzzle and the alien small teeth
Tear at the grass

                              The roots of it
Dangle from their mouths
Scattering earth in the strange woods.
They who are there.

                              Their paths
Nibbled thru the fields, the leaves that shade them
Hang in the distances
Of sun

                              The small nouns
Crying faith
In this in which the wild deer   
Startle, and stare out.
“Psalm” by George Oppen, from New Collected Poems, copyright © 1975 by George Oppen. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Poetry (July 1963).

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