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The Farewell

They say the ice will hold
so there I go,
forced to believe them by my act of trusting people,
stepping out on it,

and naturally it gaps open
and I, forced to carry on coolly
by my act of being imperturbable,
slide erectly into the water wearing my captain's helmet,
waving to the shore with a sad smile,
"Goodbye my darlings, goodbye dear one,"
as the ice meets again over my head with a click.

—Edward Field

From Counting Myself Lucky: Selected Poems, 1963-1992
Black Sparrow Press, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Copyright 1992 by Edward Field.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Black Sparrow Press from Counting Myself Lucky: Selected Poems 1963-1992. Copyright 1992 by Edward Field. For further permissions information, contact Black Sparrow Press, 24 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401.

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Edward Field (1924- ) is the author of six poetry collections, including After the Fall: Poems Old and New (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007). Field was born in Brooklyn, New York and. he grew up on Long Island.

Learn more about Edward Field.