Monday, January 30, 2012

Great Weekend

Returning to Cape Cod from a nearly 900-mile long weekend in Vermont and New Hampshire, the main purpose of which was to watch my godson play in an 8th grade basketball game, I stopped at Proctor Cemetery in Andover, New Hampshire, to visit the grave of one of my favorite poets.


I got out of bed

on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

      -- Jane Kenyon

1 comment:

  1. otherwise indeed...

    Geo...over and over I'm grateful beyond words to have discovered your blog...the poets oh the to me....merci!

    "Following Jane Kenyon’s death, Donald Hall wrote the poem below. It’s witness to the heartbreak of terminal illness and the inevitability of loss – but also the depth of love that they had for each other:"

    Last Days
    by Donald Hall

    ..........................'n those last lines:

    At eight that night,
    her eyes open as they stayed
    until she died, brain-stem breathing
    started, he bent to kiss
    her pale cool lips again, and felt them
    one last time gather
    and purse and peck to kiss him back.

    In the last hours, she kept
    her forearms raised with pale fingers clenched
    at cheek level, like
    the goddess figurine over the bathroom sink.
    Sometimes her right fist flicked
    or spasmed toward her face. For twelve hours
    until she died, he kept
    scratching Jane Kenyon’s big bony nose.
    A sharp, almost sweet
    smell began to rise from her open mouth.
    He watched her chest go still.
    With his thumb he closed her round brown eyes.