Today I Thought

..about Dad, young and married, on the homestead (640 acres, Idaho) trying to convert desert into farmland. An insurance salesman walked out to meet him in the field. Dad declined. The next day a grease fire destroyed the kitchen. Too tired and dismayed to tackle the restoration he loaded the family up and went on a mini-vacation (fishing). When he returned a few days later he found his Father and Father in Law had finished the job. A gift. A relief.

September by Jennifer Michael Hecht

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.

 

 

 

(transcribed from The Best American Poetry book series 1999)

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