Joy On A Winter’s Day

January 3, 2018


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Just to know how it felt I stood under the red pine.

It was 10 below and the sun was not quite up

and the moon not quite down, and the air so cold

you couldn’t call it cold anymore, but sort of comical

on the intake, and the lungs were like – Are you serious?

The small three-pronged tracks in the snow

belonged to creatures no longer of this earth.

The paw prints, as well, were the only traces

of what we once called rabbits when such things

bounded from the shrubberies. And the light

which began to climb over the rim of horizon

appeared stunned like ancestors in old photographs

seem stunned. You look at them in suspenders

and bonnets and the austerity of their faces

as if they knew, even then, in the minute’s wait

for the shutter to close, they were goners. As if they

knew the reason for the picture was time without pity. So

I stood under a red pine, took a few more breaths

from deep in the glacial instant of my one and only life,

which hurt a little, like joy, by which I mean the edge of joy

where it sharpens itself for the work it has to do.

“Joy” from The Word We Used for It by Max Garland (UW Press)

2018-02-10T23:06:30-06:00Tags: , , |

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