In celebration of “serendipitous” encounters

And the secret names
of all we meet who lead us deeper
into our labyrinth
of valleys and mountains, twisting valleys
and steeper mountains—
their hidden names are always,
like Proverb, promises:
Rune, Omen, Fable, Parable,
those we meet for only one crucial moment, gaze to gaze,
or for years know and don’t recognize

but of whom later a word
sings back to us
as if from high among leaves,
still near but beyond sight

drawing us from tree to tree
towards the time and the unknown place
where we shall know what it is to arrive.

–Denise Levertov (“I learned that her name was Proverb”)

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