Only Once

by Denise Levertov


Original Language English

All which, because it was
flame and song and granted us
joy, we thought we'd do, be, revisit,
turns out to have been what it was
that once, only; every invitation
did not begin
     a series, a build-up: the marvelous
did happen in our lives, our stories
     are not drab with its absence: but don't
expect to return for more. Whatever more
there will be will be
unique as those were unique. Try
     to acknowledge the next
song in its body -- halo of flames as utterly
present, as now or never

-- from Denise Levertov: Selected Poems, by Denise Levertov

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Only Once