Saturday, July 19, 2014

Untitled, for Friends

Today, for all who have loved and lost loved ones.

What the Living Do

Marie Howe
Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up
waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through
the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,
I've been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,
I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.
What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss—we want more and more and then more of it.
But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.
Copied from The Academy of Poets  with thanks.


elle said...

aw! sending blessings your way!

Susan Sawatzky said...

I read this and caught my breath. My husband died a bit over two years ago and this describes so well the loss of a love. thank you

rtquilter said...

Thinking of you, Margaret- with love. God bless.

Jo Ferguson said...

When we lose someone, it's in the little things, day to day, that we really feel the loss.

Judy Martin said...

I am going to google Marie Howe. What a beautiful poem.

Kathie Briggs said...

Yes. She gets it alright.