In a pine tree,
A few yards away from my window sill,
A brilliant blue jay is springing up and down, up and down,
On a branch.
I laugh, as I see him abandon himself
To entire delight, for he knows as well as I do
That the branch will not break.
The delight may break. Also, the bird may break. But the branch upon which he has abandoned himself will only keep on holding him, whether he abandons himself to delight or to grief. No delight, no grief can change the branch’s branchness. It remains, bound to a tree which also cannot lose its treeness, rooted, as it is, and growing stoutly upwards. The branch will not break. It is safe, then, to laugh.
*”Two Hangovers, Number Two: I Try to Waken and Greet the World Once Again,” The Branch Will Not Break, 1963