"Slow" is the first song of David Leisner's song cycle Outdoor Shadows, which sets the poetry of Robert Francis.

by Robert Francis

I have been watching slow things the long afternoon,
The thickening pad of snow out on the windowsill
That grows so slowly we can never see it grow
Although we say we can. All that we know is that
It has grown and most probably will grow so long
As the snow falls. And that is quite enough to know.
Then it will go and that will be a slow thing too
Whether it goes in sun or rain, whether a wind
Is or is not blowing. It always has been so.
And what is slower than this short, gray afternoon?
Slower than the way the sun, almost snowed in,
Begins by being low and ends by being low
And never sets or so it seems? Such a slow sun.
Nor is there much to show for my long afternoon
Except perhaps that I've been growing I suppose.
Only the unremarkable growth that must be, though,
Which isn't much, Heaven knows, for anyone to show.

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