The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Grace Cavalieri


Cancelling the Future

Today is a kind of palace, light
cascades like a rainstorm.
Thankfully, the afternoon refuses to be evening,
and how wonderful that all living things are suddenly
livelier versions of the dead,
nothing better, nothing worse,
an equality of sorts in this.

I understand fully
that birth and death give us a sense of love and grief.
That's what they're for: That's the provenance,
coarsened by all the years in between.

There are two quotes about this I cannot
ascribe and I apologize in advance;
never mind, I just found who said this:
"to have a happy ending one
must stop short of the end  . . . ."
It was John Banville who wrote it.                                

The one I cannot place is this: "Prose
is most hopeful. It assumes the writer will
live more than a day to finish it."

Then someone said poetry
was for depressed people. Well,
I think writing is all a kind of Love

and why should Love care about our ending.
Please don't think I don't care about dying.
I do. I'm not being cynical,
I am heartsore actually and even the worse for wear,
because I see more than I bargain for, and always have.

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