Awake to the Wanton Freshness

In Latium, years ago,
I sat by the road watching
an ox come through the day.
Start-white in the distance. 
Occasionally under a tree.
Colorless in the heavy sun.
Suave in the bright shadows. 
Starch-white near in the glare. 
Petal-white near in the shade. 
Linen, stone-white, and milk.
Ox-white before me, and past
into the thunder of light. 

For ten years I have tried
to understand about the ox.
About the sound. The whales. 
Of love. And arrived here
to give thanks for the profit.
I wake to the wanton freshness.
To the arriving and leaving. To the journey.
I wake to the freshness. And do reverence. 

- From the poem 'The Whiteness, The Sound, and Alcibiades' by Jack Gilbert