Thursday, April 24, 2008

This is not a poem. This is.

When it's that kind of day like today in which I start out behind the eight ball, tired and anxious,
hoping and wondering,
when the house I planned to look at tonight is put on deposit by someone else this morning,
when the sunny day is greeted by a raccoon who won't leave my yard,
when the work piles up and the patience slips out under the door when I'm not looking,
when the emissions sticker expires tomorrow,
when the library books are overdue,
when I "enjoy" a night of two pints at a local bar--where Ian and I sat unspeaking and lost in our thoughts of mortgages, square footage and layout,
when the phone rang with news that Ian's brother Al had been hit by a car while riding his bike in New Haven,
when we arrive at the ER to be greeted by Al with a bloodied head and busted legs, just glad to be alive,
when nothing else matters but the people--not the things,
when my little boys greet me at the back door after my trip to the ER and tell me how much they've missed me,
when I sit down to watch a rained out Yankee game,
when the dog cuddles with me on the couch while I drink Wild Sweet Orange tea and wonder what to do with the thoughts in my head

I reach for Yeats.

And although some days I think Yeats is somewhat overrated, I get over myself and pretentious anti-pretension by reading his work. And then I am reminded, as illustrated by the following, that the man understood the soul better than most of us:


***

When You are Old
by W. B. Yeats

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;



How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;



And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.


***



xo

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