Some days, I live as if it were 2 days in one, or even
1-1/2 days in one, followed by those 2-day days,
and so I get up from an early evening nap, don’t know
what else to call it, and think I’m hungry.
I made myself a sandwich with Thursday’s leftovers.
I also heated some coffee.
And I opened a new poetry book I”d just been given.
Here’s one that I love:
” AT LEAST
I want to get up early one more morning,
before sunrise. Before the birds, even.
I want to throw cold water on my face
and be at my work table
when the sky lightens, and smoke
begins to rise from the chimneys
of the other houses.
I want to see the waves break
on this rocky beach, not just hear them
break as I did all night in my sleep.
I want to see again the ships
that pass through the Strait from every
seafaring country in the world —
old, dirty freighters just barely moving along,
and swift new cargo vessels
painted every color under the sun
that cut the water as they pass.
I want to keep an eye out for them.
And for the little boat that plies
the water between the ships
and the pilot station near the lighthouse.
I want to see them take a man off the ship
and put another up on board.
I want to spend the day watching this happen
and reach my own conclusions..
I hate to seem greedy — I have so much
to be thankful for already.
But I want to get up early one more morning, at least.
And go to my place with some coffee and wait.
Just wait, to see what’s going to happen.”
from the book, Good Poems, as heard on
The Writer’s Almanac radio show with Garrison Keillor.
So, starting the left-over sandwich, I read this
poem and sipped some coffee. Yes, coffee at almost
midnight! When I came to those last two lines of the
poem above, I looked at the sandwich, hardly touched,
and the coffee almost gone, and I heated up another
cup of coffee for myself. Whether I then can sleep or
not, it matters not.
All that I’d wanted was the coffee and a good poem.
And I’m having both, as the poet and I wait to see
what’s going to happen.