Tuesday, March 22, 2011


What Should We Do?
Gratefully, I acknowledged that my doubts had kept me from going all aswim in
contentment over such givenness as prevailed everywhere one turned.

Since everything had gotten so much worse,
I tried to take in at least some one thing
to make out how we came to where we were,
with the result that, on my walk that morning,
which I take solemnly every day, over toward the creek
that rises beyond the highway then disappears
into the forest behind us, to reemerge
two or three blocks away in tiny cataracts
beside a yellow house with a gazebo,
I resourcefully recollected that the French
garbage can sounds like a word for a tiny
blue iris a couple might name their daughter after,
so that when I tried to articulate that moment
in my semiyearly letter to my friend Marcel,
who lives near Montbourbier in the Dordogne,
with its otherworldly river and black cliffside,
I could not imagine how I would convey
with any force in his own vivacious tongue
that we had tumbled into the garbage can of history—
nous sommes tomb├ęs dans la poubelle de l'histoire
simply would not do—so I wrote instead
how my wife and I welcomed the news that our plan
to come over to search for leases with options to buy
would coincide with the birth of a new grandchild
who might look back on these as times of triumph,
with or without tumbrels rumbling in order to have it.

By michael heffernan


Deborah Batterman said...

There's nothing so steadying as stumbling on a wonderful poem. Well, maybe not stumbling, since I visit your blog purposefully for the enlightening pairing of words and visuals I've come to expect. No pressure here (ha ha). Simply appreciation.

Pam said...

Thank you Deborah! The feeling is definitely mutual about your writing and essays and blog (awesome re-design!). Thanks for continuing to stumble...