Perpetual deferral of the commemoratory post. Perhaps I am reiterating to myself that life happens not in neat packs of one hundred, nor in neat palindromic figures. Instead, it seems to be a big jumbly mess, and the best I could do today was to choose my lightest dress and walk out into the night, heading along to dinner with a pie balanced on one hand and Hem singing in my ear. And now I seem to have gotten myself so tired and confused and slightly grouchy and certainly meditatively melancholy that I can barely see my way straight to a writing tonight. Nor can I find the lines of advice my excellent poet friend offered tonight, from William Carlos Williams, about writing a poem about the feeling of blockage.
But in the process of not being able to find Williams's lines, I have produced some of my own. Tonight, I feel like the inside of an old edge's fraying, and somehow what has soothed some of my unraveling is--of all things--my second poem of the week, the second poem of the decade in fact, and so I'll offer it, and here it is, though I actually wrote it before I wrote this paragraph, making these words some kind of proleptic postscript.
The Night Deer
Did you see the night deer?
that shadow massed in darker darkness,
the bent neck, the heartstop's reach,
that gathering near the silence at the edge of the wood?
She is quieter than this slow wind, this subtle stirrer
whose feet sweep echoes through my leaves,
red rustling shocked silver by this moonless night's lamps.
Last night I watched two finches.
They ascended the air as if sprung,
red beside brown, to pause on that high branch,
to sit without singing, to look dead ahead,
to drop straight back down. I have come to see the birds--
the woodpeckers, the wrens, the nuthatches--
that poke about, beaking bark. In last night's dusk
a wren plundered a branch of last resort, tiny and pliant,
and I saw and believed I knew better. But in the dark
of this night's feeding I know that I knew nothing.
Summers are not usually so fraught. I can hope that tomorrow will be a bit more easeful.