Aloha Lovely Readers,
I want to share the poem below, by the talented, lyric, Rita Dove, with you today.You may remember her from her stint as The United States Poet Laureate from 1993-95. I had my poetry for breakfast with a cup of sweet, strong, British breakfast tea, in a thrift-shop, blue Spode teacup and a bowl of ripe red raspberries sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with agave nectar.
I often have a poem for breakfast with my fruit and tea. (I usually read them out-loud, and suggest you try this method for receiving the full flavor and music of the medium.) The poems are delivered straight to my inbox from Poem-A-Day. This service, launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends. You can browse the Poem-A-Day Archive or visit poets.org
to sign up to receive your own daily dose of poetry and or find out more about and many other great poets past and present.
As if the lid stayed put on the marmalade.
As if you could get the last sip of champagne
out of the bottom of the fluted glass.
As if we weren’t all dying, as if we all weren’t
going to die some time, as if we knew for certain
when, or how. As if the baseball scores made sense
to the toddler. As if the dance steps mattered, or there’s a point
where they don’t. For instance wheelchair. Heart flutter.
Oxygen bottle mounted on the septuagenarian’s back
at the state ballroom competitions–that’s Manny,
still pumping the mambo with his delicious slip
of an instructor, hip hip hooray. Mambo, for instance,
if done right, gives you a chance to rest: one beat in four.
One chance in four, one chance in ten, a hundred, as if
we could understand what that means. Hooray. Keep
pumping. As if you could keep the lid on a secret
once the symptoms start to make sense. A second
instance, a respite. A third. Always that hope.
If we could just scrape that last little bit
out, if only it wouldn’t bottom out
before they can decode the message
sent to the cells. Of course it matters when, even though
(because?) we live in mystery. For instance
Beauty. Love. Honor. As if we didn’t like
secrets. Point where it hurts. Of course we’ll tell.
by Rita Dove