Time Runs Backward after death

Samson, grinding bread for widows an orphans,

Forgets he is wronged, and the answers

The Philistines wrangled out of him go back

Into the lion. The bitter and the sweet marry.

He himself wronged the lion. Now the wheat

Caresses the wind with its wifely tail; the donkey

Runs in the long grass; and having glimpsed heaven,

The fox’s body saunters the tawny earth.


After death the soul returns to drinking milk

And honey in its sparse home. Broken lintels

Rejoin the sunrise gates, and bees sing

In the sour meat. Once more in the cradle his

Hair grows long and golden; Delilah’s scissors

Turn back into two tiny and playful swords.

Samson, no longer haunted by sunset and shadows,

Sinks down in the eastern ocean and is born.

From: Eating The Honey of Words. New and Selected Poems
by Robert Bly

Republished with permission of the author.

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