Parting

A poem by Rainer Maria Rilke

How I have felt that thing that's called 'to part',
and feel it still: a dark, invincible,
cruel something by which what was joined so well
is once more shown, held out, and torn apart.

In what defenceless gaze at that I've stood,
which, as it, calling to me, let me go,
stayed there, as though it were all womanhood,
yet small and white and nothing more than, oh,

waving, now already unrelated
to me, a sight, continuing wave,--scarce now
explainable: perhaps a plum-tree bough
some perchinig cuckoo's hastily vacated.

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