Happiness

Sometimes what changes is what makes
the landscape finally familiar, why it never
is becalmed for long: the way the air’s clarity—

stabbed with golden light and glistening
like new skin on the birches— can’t stay
that way. A blur’s already unlatching the frame.

I know this even as my friend turns to me
and says, But surely you deserve some
happiness too
? I’m rueful, I know. In that

still life by the window, for instance: my eye
is drawn not to the table with the creamy damask
and the plain but heavy silver. It’s the ochre veins

streaked through the magnolias, it’s their ivory
skirts beginning to droop from the lip of the urn.
It’s the crayon line of fuzz that outlines the too-

soft peaches in the bowl; and beside them, it’s the fly
that’s drowned and gone to heaven in their honey.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← What Cannot EatOde to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser →

4 Comments


  1. This goes really well with the deepest of deep Delta Blues that I happen to be listening to at the moment (Son House, “Special Rider Blues,” 1941 Alan Lomax field recording). I’m honored to have sparked it.

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  2. Interesting how your mind flitted on this one. You took the prompt with the idea of change and clarity and gold light on birch, and you stick fairly close for two stanzas. Then you flip it—silence being broken by sound making you notice something, rather than the reverse as in Dave’s lines. “Rueful” then leads to other images still in the same color range as the prompt, with melancholy change and decay—then with that little twist back to the gold of light and paradise. Like it!

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