I can´t leave my house
or answer the phone.
I´m going down again
but feeling no pain.

And that´s the great change
and mercy to boot ---
the enemy´s dead
and I don´t have to shoot.

But as for the fall:
it was writ long ago
and I can´t stop it now ---
I´m rain and I´m snow.

And I settle at last
on the ground of my soul
in shapes of the past
and shapes that unfold.

I sit in my chair
and I look at the street --
the enemy´s gone
and his absence is sweet!

I move with the leaves
I shine with the chrome
I´m almost alive
I´m almost at home.

But please do not follow
I´ve nothing to teach:
except that the goal
falls short of the reach.

March 29, 1998

Copyright © 1998 by Leonard Cohen.
Reprinted with permission. Any other use forbidden.