This week’s piece is by the new U.S Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. It’s from her 2007 collection Duende, and it happens to be one of my favorites. I wanted to share something to celebrate her appointment as Poet Laureate and this seemed to be the perfect time and poem to do it. I’m sure that we all have those moments when we remember something from the past and just for a millisecond, recall the good times. This poem epitomizes that feeling so well.
But sometimes I forget where I am,
Imagine myself inside that life again.
Recalcitrant mornings. Sun perhaps,
Or more likely colorless light
Filtering its way through shapeless cloud.
And when I begin to believe I haven’t left,
The rest comes back. Our couch. My smoke
Climbing the walls while the hours fall.
Straining against the noise of traffic, music,
Anything alive, to catch your key in the door.
And that scamper of feeling in my chest,
As if the day, the night, wherever it is
I am by then, has been only a whir
Of something other than waiting.
We hear so much about what love feels like.
Right now, today, with the rain outside,
And leaves that want as much as I do to believe
In May, in seasons that come when called,
It’s impossible not to want
To walk into the next room and let you
Run your hands down the sides of my legs,
Knowing perfectly well what they know.