Sunday, May 2, 2010

On Life, and Joy.

There was a day when nothing happened,
the children went off to school
without a murmur, remembering
their books, lunches, gloves.
All morning, the baby and I built block stacks
in the squares of light on the floor.
And lunch blended into naptime,
I cleaned out kitchen cupboards,
one of those jobs that never gets done,
then sat in a circle of sunlight
and drank ginger tea,
watched the birds at the feeder
jostle over lunch's little scraps.
A pheasant strutted from the hedgerow,
preened and flashed his jeweled head.
Now a chicken roasts in the pan,
and the children return,
the murmur of their stories dappling the air.
I peel carrots and potatoes without paring my thumb.
We listen together for your wheels on the drive.
Grace before bread.
And at the table, actual conversation,
no bickering or pokes.
And then, the drift into homework.
The baby goes to his cars, drives them
along the sofa's ridges and hills.
Leaning by the counter, we steal a long slow kiss,
tasting of coffee and cream.
The chicken's diminished to skin & skeleton,
the moon to a comma, a sliver of white,
but this has been a day of grace
in the dead of winter,
the hard cold knuckle of the year,
a day that unwrapped itself
like an unexpected gift,
and the stars turn on,
order themselves
into the winter night.

("Ordinary Life," by Barbara Crooker)

Two caught on film who hurtle
from the eighty-second floor,
choosing between a fireball
and to jump holding hands,

aren't us. I wake beside you,
stretch, scratch, taste the air,
the incredible joy of coffee
and the morning light.

Alive, we open eyelids
on our pitiful share of time,
we bubbles rising and bursting
in a boiling pot.

("September Twelfth, 2001," by X.J. Kennedy)

They tell me I am going to die.
Why don't I seem to care?
My cup is full. Let it spill.
("My Cup," by Robert Friend)


  1. I love the first poem so so much. I don't remember where/when I first read it, but it just... it's awesome!

  2. All three are in Garrison Keillor's collection of "Good Poems for Hard Times."

  3. Yeahhh but I haven't read that.. Maybe I saw it on someone's blog? I don't know.

  4. I dunno. I guess I might've sent it to you before. Or possibly I wasn't even involved. That's crazy talk, though.