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A Letter in October by Ted Kooser

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1.
I guess that’s really how it is to love, yeah? I said, just now to a friend. You let go again and again.

2.
I extend my arms, my fingers tapping an invisible thread, a bit unresponsive some days. This day. And maybe more days in the future. I hope not. I’m hoping not.

3.
I am told I am the kind of person who sets herself up for disappointment. I feel I have been told this before, and I’ve forgotten.

4.
Why do I set myself up for that, it’s fucking cruel, I said.

5.
Maybe I am always told this, and maybe I always choose to forget. Maybe the thing I should remember is that my self is also someone I should love.

A Letter in October
Ted Kooser

Dawn comes later and later now,
and I, who only a month ago
could sit with coffee every morning
watching the light walk down the hill
to the edge of the pond and place
a doe there, shyly drinking,

then see the light step out upon
the water, sowing reflections
to either side—a garden
of trees that grew as if by magic—
now see no more than my face,
mirrored by darkness, pale and odd,

startled by time. While I slept,
night in its thick winter jacket
bridled the doe with a twist
of wet leaves and led her away,
then brought its black horse with harness
that creaked like a cricket, and turned

the water garden under. I woke,
and at the waiting window found
the curtains open to my open face;
beyond me, darkness. And I,
who only wished to keep looking out,
must now keep looking in.



(from Poetry Foundation)

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