Wednesday morning

My last day here, and I’m finding it hard pondering my return to being an ordinary person, not a full-time poet.

And the mess in Gaza just gets more and more awful.

And my job started laying people over yesterday, in large part because our multi-year well-funded Wachovia project is as dead as Wachovia itself.

But poetry is one kind of magic — marks on a page take us into other times, other minds, other possibilities. So this, from poet Gerald Stern.

Bee Balm

Today I’m sticking a shovel in the ground
and digging up the little green patch
between the hosta and the fringe bleeding heart.
I am going to plant bee balm there
and a few little pansies till the roots take
and the leaves spread out in both directions.

This is so the hummingbird will rage
outside my fireplace window; this is so
I can watch him standing in the sun
and hold him a little above my straining back,
so I can reach my own face up to his
and let him drink the sugar from my lips.

This is so I can lie down on the couch
beside the sea horse and the glass elephant,
so I can touch the cold wall above me
and let the yellow light go through me,
so I can last the rest of the summer on thought,
so I can live by secrecy and sorrow.

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