Childhood’s Retreat

By Robert Duncan

It’s in the perilous boughs of the tree   
out of blue sky    the wind   
sings loudest surrounding me.
 
And solitude,   a wild solitude
’s reveald,   fearfully,   high     I’d climb   
into the shaking uncertainties,
 
part out of longing,   part     daring my self,
part to see that
widening of the world,   part
 
to find my own, my secret
hiding sense and place, where from afar   
all voices and scenes come back
 
—the barking of a dog,   autumnal burnings,
far calls,   close calls—   the boy I was
calls out to me
here the man where I am   “Look!
 
I’ve been where you
 
most fear to be.”
 
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