RSS Feed

Tag Archives: pandemic

Poem of gratitude in this scary time

This is the loneliest National Poetry Month in my memory, with no live readings. It’s heartening that creative people are figuring out new ways to share poetry on Zoom, YouTube and other platforms. As clever as these virtual events are, nothing can take the place of a live audience in the same room as a reader.   The strange “new normal” we’re living in seems like the right time to post this simple, powerful poem about not taking being healthy, or one’s comforting routines, for granted.  It’s a favorite of mine by the late New Hampshire poet Jane Kenyon. (from Collected Poems, copyright 2005 by the Estate of Jane Kenyon.)

OTHERWISE

I got out of bed

on two strong legs.

It might have been

otherwise.  I ate

cereal, sweet

milk, 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.

forsythia close up