Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poem of the week

(It's not really seasonal, but what the heck. I love the ending of this.)


Tonight there must be people who are getting what they want.
I let my oars fall into the water.
Good for them. Good for them, getting what they want.

The night is so still that I forget to breathe.
The dark air is getting colder. Birds are leaving.

Tonight there are people getting just what they need.

The air is so still that it seems to stop my heart.
I remember you in a black and white photograph
taken this time of some year. You were leaning against
a half-shed tree, standing in the leaves the tree had lost.

When I finally exhale it takes forever to be over.

Tonight, there are people who are so happy,
that they have forgotten to worry about tomorrow.

Somewhere, people have entirely forgotten about tomorrow.
My hand trails in the water.
I should not have dropped those oars. Such a soft wind.

--Jennifer Michael Hecht
from The Next Ancient World


Brent Goodman said...

Beautiful. Thank you for posting this.

Anne said...

Brent - glad you liked it. :) Our library didn't have the book this comes from, so I had to ILL it! Looking forward to finding out whether I like the rest of her work as much as I like this one...

Montgomery Maxton said...

i love the title of the book. love love love it.

RJGibson said...

When I popped by the other day, I knew I'd seen this poem somewhere, but knew I didn't have the book. The first stanza and last line get loose in my head now and again and finally! finally! I knew when I was paging through Bly's Best American Poetry. There it is. I love that last line. I want it for my own.

Anne said...

MM: Me too - I envy people who can come up with good titles.

RJ: Ha! That happens to me sometimes and it makes me crazy. Glad you tracked it down. :)