Reading Dante

There was no hope in the Inferno

And neither was there any future

The first glimpse of future comes in Purgatorio

Where a man says “I will sing”

The souls in the penitential land

Are not chained to the past

And, therefore, are not chained.

Faith looks to the future

All that is past will have its meaning

In what the future becomes.

Why, then, when I look

At the trees winter bare

And see the board steps

Nailed to the sycamore trunk

Do I think of childhood and youth

As some better land?

Not because the past was perfect

But because then there was no past

And looking forward then was all.

.

copyright 2017

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